TECH TREK SCHOLARSHIPS
Tech Trek is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) camp designed to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in girls entering eighth grade. It features hands-on activities in STEM-related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional and recreational facilities are located on a university campus.
The Tech Trek program began in the 1996 AAUW California State Branch with funding by an AAUW Community Action Grant. Since then the program has expanded to include camps at 10 college/university campuses in California. In 2013 AAUW National expanded the Tech Trek program to other states and campuses.
The AAUW Tehachapi Mountain Branch accepted oversight of the local camp program from the Antelope Valley Branch in 2015. We work with middle school science and math teachers, who recommend camper candidates. The nominated students submit applications and essays to the branch Tech Trek Committee. The committee is composed of 3-4 AAUW members and a high school student, who is a prior Tech Trek camper. Applications and essays are reviewed and personal interviews are conducted. Donations from sponsors and AAUW Tech Trek fund raising activities determine the number of scholarships available. The committee selects the students that they believe would benefit the most from attending Tech Trek camp using AAUW National criteria and procedures.
In most camps, girls are assigned either a math or science core class that they attend daily, sometimes with field trips to encourage maximum interaction and instruction. All instructors and staff members are women. Instructors include credentialed middle school teachers and women currently engaged professionally in math, science, or technology fields. Campers stay in dormitories with dorm mom supervision, and eat in the cafeteria. No matter which campus they attend, campers have the opportunity to live the life of a college student for a week.
AAUW studies show that the program exposes the students to other girls and women interested in STEM subjects, make them comfortable on a college campus, and make them more likely to attend college, and study and later work in STEM fields.