Tech Trek

Tech Trek, now entering its 25th year, is an all-scholarship, all volunteer science and math camp for our local girls entering 8th grade. They spend a week living the life of a college student, complete with dormitory, dining all and hands-on labs, usually in college classrooms. Because they are exposed to many kinds of exciting science, technology, engineering and math and to women working in these areas, a great many of our campers will choose college majors and careers in these fields, far beyond the normally expected rates.

This is AAUW’s part in increasing the number of women in STEM careers.

Tech Trek is a project of the American Association of University Women, California.

Girls from Chico attend Tech Trek at U.C. Davis where they visit the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Bohart Museum of Entomolgy, Mandavi Art Center, and spend an afternoon with graduate students in the Chemistry Department doing experiments and, as a treat, making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.

The girls select one core class to take all week – choosing from:

  • —– Engineering:Environmental, Electrical and More;
  • —– Anatomy & Phisiology;
  • —– 3-D Math:Architecture, Geometry, Design and what went wrong;
  • —– Genetics:What makes you You?;
  • —– Robotics:Be a part of the Future;

2019 Tech Trek Campers from Chico.

Seven Tech Trekkers spent a busy and productive week at our STEM Camp at UC Davis!  They tasted student life on a college campus for one (hot) week in July.  Each was nominated by their 7th Grade science teacher, and then competed with other nominees for scholarships provided by all of you  – AAUW Chico members, and by other community friends interested in this worthwhile program.

Each morning the girls attended one of five core classes, which they had chosen for the week.  Topics included:

Anatomy & Physiology: As I Live and Breathe – Examine the structures of various organ systems through dissection.  Gather data in a journal, and build a model lung.

High Energy Engineering – Explore a diverse set of real-world problems and use the engineering design process to build prototypes in an attempt to solve them.

Rule the World with Coding – Investigate connections between engineering and computer science. Set up a circuit board and code switches.

Genetics: DNA, Genomics & Heredity – Build models of DNA, look at tissue under microscope, study diseases, and learn how genes are passed form parent to offspring.

3D Math: Architecture, Geometry, Design, and What Went Wrong – Explore the invention process and what happens when something fails.  Use the power of statistics to examine predictability.

Afternoons were filled with field trips that gave them a look at various areas of study.  These included School of Veterinary Medicine, Graduate School of Chemistry, and Mondavi Center for Performing Arts.  Other afternoon activities included workshops: Rescue in Space, Forensic Science, Airfoils and Lift, Girls With Confidence, and more.

Our Tech Trekkers spent an evening in chaotic fun learning about budgeting (they gained a new respect for their parents in the process); at Professional Women’s Evening they talked with women in STEM careers; gazed through telescopes at the night sky; and learned Zumba. They made new friends.  They found a new confidence.

here are some excerpts from the Thank You notes they’ve sent:

“Thank you so much for seeing the potential in me…”  “If not for your time and effort, I wouldn’t have access to an opportunity like this…”  “…thank you for ~ exposing me to a new environment ~ meeting new people”  “Some of my favorite activities were visiting the vet school…and dissecting things in Anatomy.” “ It really is such a privilege to be involved and around all of this knowledge.”  “I’ve learned so much about STEM and I’ve overall become a more open and extroverted person.”  “Genetics was an amazing core class.” “I have worked alongside ~ women who love their jobs…”  “We all loved the food…”

We’ve invited our Tech Trekkers and their parents to our Chico Branch Annual “Welcome Back” Brunch on September 14th.  Come to hear more about their amazing, life-changing week!

Fundraising is an important part of the Tech Trek Program since all campers receive scholarships.

Funding for these scholarships comes from branch members, community service organizations and the community at large. Our once a year branch fundraiser is our ANTIQUE’S APPRAISAL FAIR.