Tech Trek

Science & Math Camp for Girls

Tech Trek is a science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in girls who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). All activities and lodging are located on a university campus where camps are held.  Click here to learn more about Tech Trek from AAUW National.  Our Branch Tech Trek Campers come from the following six Middle Schools in the Danville, Alamo and Walnut Creek public school systems: Charlotte Wood, Danville, Diablo Vista, Danville, Foothill, Walnut Creek, Los Cerros, Danville, Stone Valley, Alamo, Walnut Creek Intermediate, Walnut Creek

Update on Tech Trek — STEM 2021 Virtual Camp

by Deborah Wechsler, Tech Trek Chair 2020-21

(August, 2021) Last week we completed the 3rd and final session of Virtual Tech Trek camp. Our branch sent 16 7th-8th grade girls to one of the three sessions. The total number of campers in the state for all three camps was over 700 girls! Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek also had several of our former Tech Trek participants and some of our members help out as virtual coaches – a total of nine, for very good representation from our Branch.

The core activity was a robotics component sponsored by the company QualComm. On the final day of camp each girl submitted a video of her “Wearable Art” creation – a crazy animated hat. Here is a link to videos the campers shared about their experiences.

 

Some comments from the campers:

“I had an amazing experience at Tech Trek. I really enjoyed all the workshops, but my favorites were “Math is on the Menu” and “Exploring Water at Its Surface.” I also found pleasure in making my automated hat during breakout rooms in the morning.  Socializing with other girls with similar interests as mine was fun as well. Overall, I had a very educational and memorable time at Tech Trek.”

“I really enjoyed the experience and all of the fun workshops that we got to do last week. One of the workshops that we did I really liked; it was called: Strawberries Have DNA? The hat project was also fun because I loved how I got to be creative with my designs and I liked programming it to spin or light up. Everyone was just so helpful and kind, I really loved it and I got to meet some new people and get their phone numbers so I can chat with them. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to be in this camp!”

I was the Logistics Coordinator for all of the East Bay branches, with 68 campers and about 20 coaches. With help from DAW member Bev Nidick and Tech Trek Branch Coordinators Diane Coventry (Pleasant Hill-Martinez) and Debbie Cummings (Delta-Contra Costa), we completed and distributed kits for the campers and coaches.

I would like to thank the 2021 Tech Trek Interview team of Sue Brandy, Bette Felton, Diane Fornasier, Laura Johnson, Pat Kenber, Liz Williams, and Monika Witte, who worked together to select the Tech Trek girls for this year. We have several new members expressing interest to help out next year, and we will begin active efforts in the fall. Let me know if you would like to join the team!

We have sufficient funds for the 2021 camp. If fees stay the same as in 2020 ($1000/girl) we are only $2000 short of funding for 12 girls in 2022. Thanks for your generous contributions and support!


The Future of Tech Trek STEM Camps

California Tech Trek has created five workgroups to study changes suggested by Tech Trek stakeholders. These groups are hard at work and don’t need volunteers at this time, but we will keep you informed on the progress and opportunities to get involved with the future STEM camps.

  • Administration Workgroup – Evaluating the organization’s overall structure including roles and responsibilities at the state and camp level.
  • Camps and Campers Workgroup – Studying the optimum camp structure and target group for Tech Trek.
  • Finance Workgroup – Exploring ways to simplify financial processes for camps and branches.
  • Marketing and Evaluation Workgroup – Developing strategies to promote Tech Trek to the public and to evaluate its effectiveness.
  • Curriculum Workgroup – Reviewing Tech Trek’s curriculum and learning experiences to assure they’re up to date with current trends.

Thank you corporate sponsors for DAW Tech Trek!

Donations

Please consider a tax deductible donation to Tech Trek, a 501 (c) 3 charity, tax ID 68-0463071. The donation can come from an individual, business or company, or an AAUW Special Interest Group.

Your check must be made out to “AAUW-CA SPF” and on the memo line you must write “Tech Trek”

Checks should be sent to:

AAUW Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek Branch
Attention: Tech Trek Chair
P.O. Box 996
Alamo, CA 94507

Thank you amazing DAW members! Please let your friends and acquaintances know about this opportunity to encourage local girls to pursue STEM education.

Tech Trek is continuing proof that AAUW puts its mission to support equity and education for all women and girls into action.

Please Contact Us for more information.

The Tech Trek Program, Selection Process, and Funding

The first Tech Trek was a local program held at Stanford University in 1998, with initial funding from the AAUW Educational Foundation. It became so successful, it is now a National AAUW Program.

The selection process for camp is done by 7th Grade Science and Math Middle School Teachers who nominate students to attend camp. The only way to attend is to be recommended by a teacher(s) and be selected through the local AAUW Branch interview process.

Girls selected to receive sponsorships attend Sonoma State University for one week. They attend core classes taught by teachers and professional women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) featuring hands-on experiments while learning that math and science can be fun. The girls enjoy living in the dorms on a college campus plus special activities planned by the camp Director. AAUW members volunteer to serve as camp staff, dorm moms and chaperons.

TT-4Each sponsorship recipient is invited to attend the DAW Annual Branch Membership brunch held in the fall, to be recognized and to speak about their experiences. Sponsorships are funded primarily by monies raised by our annual fundraisers and by individuals, companies, and AAUW special interest group private donations. Parents/Guardians are requested to make a family contribution.

From the Tech Trekers:

(Quotes from the 2019 Sonoma State Tech Trek Girls’ Thank You Notes)

Thank you for nominating me for Tech Trek. I have had an amazing experience at the Sonoma State camp. In my core class, biology, I learned so much! I did many labs, including a bacterial plating lab. It was my favorite because it taught me how easily bacteria is spread . . .
Student from Diablo Vista Middle School, SRVUSD

Thank you so much for sending me to Tech Trek. I have had so much fun learning and meeting new people. . . All of the hands-on experiments, such as those in my Engineering Core, have been very fun . . .
Student from Los Cerros Middle School, SRVUSD

Thank you so much for sending me to Tech Trek. It was an amazing experience that will help me a lot in the future. In my biology class, I was able to dissect frogs and extract DNA from strawberries. . .
Student from Walnut Creek Intermediate School, Walnut Creek School District

I am writing to thank you for the opportunity to come to Teck Trek and for sponsoring me. One of my favorite things about camp was listening to my astronomy teacher talk about the stars, galaxy distances, and black holes. . . there is so much to learn!
Student from Stone Valley Middle School, SRVUSD

I am writing this letter to thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend Tech Trek. One of the activities I really enjoyed was doing the model bungee jumping in Aerospace Engineering. I love math, so figuring out how to measure the number of rubber bands needed for the jump was really fun.
Student from Stone Valley Middle School, SRVUSD

Thank you so much for nominating me for this amazing opportunity! I had so much fun, and learned so much during this week. My core class was Math and Architecture. We built popsicle stick bridges and tested them . . .we built models of our dorm rooms . . .In Astronomy I learned what a light year is . . . Also, I got to meet many new people, who made my camp experience even more amazing.
Student from Charlotte Wood Middle School, SRVUSD

Firstly, I would love to thank you all for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I learned about water in chemistry class . . . Astronomy allowed us to explore how light reaches us . . .the evening activities included a wide variety . . . the field trips were informative.
Student from Foothill Middle School, MDUSD

Thank you so much for sponsoring me. I have gained a lot from this experience and am so thankful. Some of my favorite parts of this camp were going to the Sonoma County Water Agency, chemistry classes, and mad city money. . . Tech Trek is amazing!
Student from Diablo Vista Middle School, SRVUSD

I don’t know how to thank you enough for sponsoring me on this awesome experience. The friends and memories I’ve made will stay with me throughout my lifetime . . . on one fun field trip I went to the Russian River and learned about wildlife and the ecosystem. Because of the flooding in February the populations of some species of fish declined because eggs were damaged . . . I loved spending time with my dormmates, they made me laugh and were easy to relate to.
Student from Charlotte Wood Middle School, SRVUSD

2019 Tech Trek Camp was a great experience!!
Thanks to the wonderful interview teams we selected an impressive group of nine 7th grade girls to sponsor in 2019. These girls were able to spend a week at STEM camp at Sonoma State University.

Ellen Tauscher and some of the Tech Trek girls sponsored by our branch who went to Sonoma State in the summer of 2019 to experience STEM.