At the Tech Trek camp the girls are immersed in a world that empowers and encourages them to think about themselves as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer specialists.
Florida Tech Trek 2017
Sixty-two girls attended the 2017 AAUW Florida Tech Trek Camp held on the Palm Beach State College Boca Raton campus from June 11th to the 17th. All the girls attended a core class Monday through Thursday morning and participated in eight different activities those afternoons. On Friday the entire group went to the South Florida Science Center and Planetarium, Saturday morning they made a presentation to their parents about their activities during the week.
The girls in the Engineering Class worked in pairs to research, design, and build bridges out of balsa wood. The most successful ones held 20 lbs of weight. In the Robotics class the pairs constructed robots, programmed them to do various tasks, tested them and then programmed their robot to do something more difficult. The pairs of girls in the Applications Inventors class learned to build code to create their own apps for their tablets. Each day they learned how to make their apps more complex. In the Cyber Security Course girls learned how to protect themselves from cyber attacks from hackers and about on-going and increasingly common problems as we become more involved with technology.
Campers and all the staff members resided in one of the dorms on the adjacent campus of Florida Atlantic University. Each evening there were a variety of activities. A special dinner was held on Wednesday where the girls. who had dressed up for the evening, dined with one of eight STEM professional women where they had an opportunity to talk with the woman at their table. Following dinner these role models made presentations about their careers to the entire group.
Tech Trek Camp Funding
It takes approximately $1,000 per girl to hold the camp each year. The 2017 camp received generous contributions from Arthrex, Inc., Florida Power and Light, Praxair, Susan Berlin, DDS, the Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota’s AAUW Sarasota Branch Norma Heeps Fund, Sarasota’s Patterson Foundation, and the Charitable Foundation of AAUW Northern Palm Beach County. These individuals also made very generous contributions to the Camp: Maria Ascencio, Susan Barley, Christine Brewer, Kathy Egolf, and Charlotte Tsoucalas.
The girls who attended the 2017 camp described their camp experiences as “awesome”, “extraordinary”, “exciting”, “incredible” and “a unique educational experience.
AAUW has been a leader in the effort to interest more young girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The first summer Tech Trek camp was held on the campus of California’s Stanford University in 1998. Now there are ten California camps and ten additional camps scattered around the United States. Thanks to very generous sponsors and supportive donors, families pay only a $50 fee to send a girl to camp so that girls from a wide range of backgrounds are able to attend.