NORMAN — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) will offer four Tech Trek camps across the country this month to encourage girls to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The camps will engage approximately 160 girls from Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida and Washington state.
The Oklahoma session will begin Sunday at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
Tech Trek has grown from one camp in California in 1998 to 10 successful camps on eight college campuses throughout the state today, and AAUW is now expanding the program nationally.
Campers who are about to enter the eighth grade stay on college campuses for a week to perform experiments and other hands-on activities and interact with women role models who work in STEM fields.
Attendees are nominated by their seventh-grade math and science teachers, and many come from populations where STEM careers may not be an obvious choice. AAUW member volunteers fundraise to subsidize the cost of the camps for campers and families pay a nominal fee for girls to attend and participate.
In addition to supporting women and girls in STEM through research, funding and programs like Tech Trek, AAUW also sponsors Tech Savvy. Tech Savvy, a daylong program created eight years ago by the AAUW Buffalo (NY) Branch, works to introduce young women to opportunities and careers in STEM fields through hands-on activities. Like Tech Trek, Tech Savvy has seen success, and it is expanding to 10 new cities.
AAUW will host an interactive exhibit at a STEM fair Wednesday on Capitol Hill. The event is co-hosted by Women’s Policy Inc. and the leadership of the congressional women’s caucus. The AAUW exhibit will highlight the findings and recommendations of our Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics research, which explores the environmental and social barriers to women’s participation in STEM.
Learn more about the group at aauw.org.