Tech Trek is a summer camp for middle school girls that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Campers spend one week on a university campus – they live in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria, attend labs and classes, and learn what it might be like to be a college student.
With the aim of encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers, the camp exposes them to a wide variety of STEM fields and occupations through hands-on experience in classes, workshops and demonstrations. The campers hear from women STEM professionals and receive guidance to help them prepare for their own future careers, including the critical next step of choosing the right classes in high school. The camp is funded through fundraisers, donations, and partnerships coordinated by local AAUW branches, which means that students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend summer camp are able to attend Tech Trek.
Not just anyone can attend Tech Trek! In order to be considered for a sponsorship to Tech Trek, students must first be nominated by their 7th grade math, science, or technology teachers. Tech Trek’s goal is to ignite an existing spark of interest in STEM, so enthusiasm for STEM is one of the qualifications, along with a student’s access, or lack of, to other enrichment programs, and evidence of curiosity and potential. The classroom super stars and top performers are not always the ones chosen. AAUW branches give much time and thought to choosing students who will benefit most from a life-changing week at Tech Trek.