“I had always been worried about going into a male-dominated field,” said one camper. “Tech Trek has made me feel more confident about my abilities in STEM and has made me want to follow my dreams of becoming a medical engineer.”
At Tech Trek, girls are immersed in a world that empowers and encourages them to think about themselves as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer specialists.
This one-week, residential, hands-on STEM camp for rising eighth-grade girls got its start nearly 20 years ago, when AAUW of California member Marie Wolbach applied for an AAUW Community Action Grant to open a science camp for girls on the Stanford University campus. Wolbach and AAUW of California have since expanded the program to 10 camps in California alone.
After seeing how effective the program is — alumnae are more likely than their peers to take advanced science and math classes and eventually to go to college — AAUW decided to take the program nationwide. In 2013, Tech Trek was expanded to four states, Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida and Washington, and is already changing the lives of the girls who attended.
In 2015, New Jersey joined the expansion at Stockton University and expanded to host 60 girls in 2016! Watch the 2015 Stockton Tech Trek Camp video and click the Photos link above to see archives from our 2016-2019 camps.
Campers take part in activities like programming apps for tablets and smart phones, extracting their own DNA, formulating lip gloss in a chemistry lab, visiting the FAA Technical Center and much more! Tech Trek has been shown to significantly increase girls’ self-confidence and their interest in and excitement about the STEM fields, which is why AAUW New Jersey continues to host Tech Trek at Stockton University each year.
The program puts AAUW’s groundbreaking Why So Few? and Solving the Equation research reports into action in a female-led, inclusive, residential university setting (see the Tech Trek ADA Policy 2019-20). Tech Trek’s formula follows the reports’ recommendations, introducing girls to role models and career choices and giving campers the opportunity to reside on a college campus. Find out how you can support a camp today: volunteer, nominate a camper, or sponsor the camp with a tax deductible gift (Select Fund Name: Tech Trek New Jersey – Galloway (Stockton University).