Tech Trek

Tech Trek: A Different Kind of Summer Camp

At 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.

AAUW Florida Tech Trek Camp continues despite the COVID pandemic!!!
The 2021 Tech Trek camp was a virtual camp held July 19-23 on a Zoom platform.  Tech Trek FL engaged the services of Event Support (Olympia, WA) to manage the virtual platforms necessary to conduct a successful camp. A total of 94 students attended.  It was a combination of students selected for both the 2020 camp (canceled due to the pandemic) and students selected in 2021.
With the cancelation of the 2020 camp, the campers selected to attend were given the opportunity to attend the 2021 virtual camp as 8th graders rising to 9th grade.  Of the 98 campers selected to attend in 2020, 45 elected to attend the 2021 Virtual Camp. An additional 49 campers (7th graders rising to 8th grade) were selected by eleven branches to attend the 2021 camp.
All 94 campers, representing 20 branches from throughout Florida, spent an action-packed week engaged in all manner of STEM activities.
A few statistics:
  • All campers receive $750 sponsorships to attend; families pay $25
  • 55 % of campers were White, 11% African American, 16% Asian, 13% Hispanic and 6% were other.
  • Five core classes (see below)  Sixteen lab workshops (see below)
  • Virtual field trips were offered to all campers on Friday (see below)
  • Each day girls attended Professional Women’s Panels featuring women from across the country who work in various STEM areas (see below)
  • Our major sponsors this year were Stetson University, Qualcomm:Wireless Technology and Innovations, and NextEra Energy.
CORE CLASSES – Campers attended one core class for 2 hours each day at the camp. Campers selected their core courses on a first come, first served basis.  2021 campers attended the morning sessions and 2020 campers participated in the afternoon classes, except for Computer Science which was a morning only class.
Computer Science Discoveries:  Work with various programs and learn about the computer and what resources it provides for discovery. Instructor:  Ashley Woodard who is currently teaching in St. Johns County Schools.  (Monday-Thursday)
Qualcomm Wearable Tech:   Step-by-step instructions for setting up a microcontroller and how to use a breadboard • Hands-on coding and engineering challenges • Learn how to build an LED circuit, get it to blink and send Morse code, using a microcontroller power source • Connect a Servo motor and write code to control the motion     Instructors: Tamara Payne, Taneshia Williamson and Amanda Ellis who are currently teaching in Volusia County Public Schools. (Monday-Friday)
Marine Mysteries:  The class will expose you to a broad variety of topics including the general biology, anatomy and physiology of oceanic fauna ranging from tiny plankton to sharks, sea turtles and dolphins. Class will include information about career options in marine science. Hands on experiences provided. (Monday-Thursday)  Instructors: Dr. Danielle Ingle who is  a Post Doc Research Associate at Texas A & M University at Galveston, Dr. Jamie Knaub from Florida Atlantic University and Aubrey Clark who is a Graduate Research Assistant at Florida Atlantic University.   (Monday-Thursday)
Structural Engineering:   Use the engineering design process to build a tower that can withstand as much weight as possible. Campers will design 2-D blueprints which will be used to build a 3-D tower out of balsa wood. The strength of the tower will be dependent on balancing tension and compression forces. Participants will be amazed with their ability to build a tower with such strength using lightweight wood. Throughout the process, the engineers will learn proper measurement techniques, the science of engineering, and self-confidence.    Instructor:  Cheryl Huey who is currently a teacher in Palm Beach County Schools.  (Monday- Friday)
Neuroscience:  Learn basic science of the anatomy and function of the brain and nervous system. Hands on experiences including VR experiences are involved. Instructors: Dr. Nicole Baganz and Dr. Chelsea Bennice who are working in FAU’s Brain Institute’s ASCEND Program. (Monday-Thursday)
WORKSHOPS:  A total of 16 labs workshops were offered the students. Tech Trek teachers   presented a 90-minute lessons.  Each camper selected one workshop each day.  2020 and 2021 campers were mixed for these sessions.  Sessions were limited to 25 campers each session.
Flip Grid Fun in Action:  Traci Jones— Learn how to use this great online video discussion tool to create   personalized videos of your Tech Trek experience. Videos can be recorded as many times as needed before uploading, and can have the addition of emojis, text, stickers, and drawings. Time to create videos to share with your sponsors and supporters who made this week possible for YOU!  Offered Monday and Wednesday.
DNA:  Dr. Becky Mercer—Explore your own DNA and how DNA is used by scientists today.  Offered Monday and Tuesday.
The Brain and Learning: Cheryl Huey— Every person’s brain is unique, making them special. Are you logical and mathematical or creative and artistic? Do you prefer to learn through auditory, visual, or hands-on activities? This course is designed to study the science of learning. Campers will explore their inherent strengths with the goal of learning how to overcome their weaknesses. Join us as we explore our brains through fun and engaging activities.
Exercise Science and Group Fitness: Harlee Goodfriend— Girls will learn the difference between cardiovascular, muscle endurance, strength and flexibility training. Opportunity to apply the information by taking a hybrid style, multi-level, group exercise class, combining cardio dance, zumba, barre and vertical pilates.  Offered Monday and Thursday.
My Place in Space: Jennifer Hamilton—How big is the solar system? What do constellations really look like? What is my place in space? We will look at scale models of the solar system, discuss if astrology really works, and understand how the stars are positioned.   Offered Tuesday and Thursday.
Bullet Journal: Leslie Grossman— Learn simple techniques that will help you organize all the important things in life. Regardless of who you are, where you are, your age or even your profession… You WILL learn to make the most of your day/week/month using these tips.
Chemistry Lab at Home: Jackie Foti– -Campers will take part in various chemistry experiments at home. Do the experiment and learn why it happens. Offered Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rube Goldbergs Galore!: Kelly Homa— Girls will review and utilize the sciences that make a Rube Goldberg machine work. They use a complicated series of actions to simply move an object from one place to another. Combine these concepts to create a machine to complete a simple task using laws of physics and energy for a whole lotta fun!!
Stop We’re Animating: Ashley Woodard– -Girls will be introduced to the basic skills required for creating Stop Animation Movies. They will then develop a script, storyboard, characters, and setting for a 30 second public service announcement. Girls will produce their own animations.
Hurricane Heroes: Kristin Hanshaw— Attention heroes, Florida is in need of some super scientists and engineers. Your mission? Design a protective barrier to help fend off storm surges and protect our beautiful home.
Astrophysics:  Dr. Mel Nynka— Learn what it takes to build a satellite from the ground up from a working astrophysicist.
FIELD TRIPS:  With a virtual camp, virtual field trips were in order for 2021.  Campers chose from the field trips offered based upon their core course schedule.
  1.  Environmental Resource Management Palm Beach County–GPS and mapping  (unlimited Participants)
  2. Adventures at the South Florida Science Center:  Brain in Action & Chemistry Concoctions.  (25 Participants)
  3. Toyota Teen Drive 365  On Demand: The Engineering Behind Safety  (25 Participants) Offered twice
  4.  Loggerhead MarineLife Center  (25 Participants)
  5.  NextEra Energy Solar and Wind Power Field Trip  (25 Participants)
  6. Brookhaven Lab: Accelerator Science  Program explores charged particles and nuclear acceleration (25 Participants)
PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S PANEL: Moderated by Pat Ross
Monday through Thursday all campers and staff were invited to attend a virtual professional women’s panel moderated by Pat Ross.  Women from across the country were able to participate since the sessions were virtual. Campers were encouraged to ask questions. On Friday two guest speakers from Qualcomm spoke to the camp.
  • Monday:  Women in Science
  1.  Dr. Marianne Porter – marine biologist FAU
  2.  Dr. Ilaria Drago – researcher Max Planck
  3.  Dr. Jill Barabas – Hoof & Horn Veterinary ( large animals)
  4.  Dr. Melania Nynka—Research Scientist, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space and Science
  5. Dr. Andrea Levin—Pharmacy Professor at Nova Southeastern University
  • Tuesday:  Women in Technology
  1.  Daksha Chokshi – Aerojet  Rocketdyne
  2.  Rachel Weeks—Systems Test Engineer, United Launch Alliance
  3.  Savannah Bell—Sr. Software Engineer, Medtronic (robotic surgery)
  4. Melissa Zhdankin–Electromagnetic Technologies, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
  • Wednesday:  Women in Engineering
  1.  Lourdes Avellano – Aerojet  Rocketdyne
  2. Marina Santarpia – Aerojet Rocketdyne
  3. Christina Yero– Civil Engineer, Design and Construction Engineering and Inspection  for Roads and Bridges.
  4. Diana Rivera–Civil Engineer in water and wastewater engineering; specifically water chemistry
  • Thursday:  Women in Mathematics
  1.  Laryssa Ryback—Market Risk Management
  2.  Corrinne  Clarke—statistician Oncology Program Manager
  3.  Kate Ballard– statistician at NASA Langley
  4.   Jamie Wingfield—Ameriprise  Finance Advisor
  • Friday:  Women from Qualcomm – Luna Hu and Lily Yip
FUNDRAISING:  Under the guidance of Fundraising Coordinator Sally Bailey AAUW FL Supporting Foundation, Inc. has raised the funds to provide Tech Trek Camp each year since 2013.  Funds have come from branches, individuals (members and non-members), businesses and corporations, community and family foundations.. AAUW FL Supporting Foundation, Inc received a $2000 grant from AAUW in 2021 to assist with technical support for the virtual camp.  They also received a grant for $10,000 from Stetson University which was used to pay for supplies.  NextEra Energy provided the field trip and solar energy rover constructed by the campers free of charge for Tech Trek.  Qualcomm provided their Thinkabit Lab training and some supplies for the Wearable Tech workshop as well as $5000 from AAUW FL.  The AAUW FL Supporting Foundation, Inc. greatly appreciates all suport for Tech Trek Camp.
AAUW Florida
Sue Slone
Tech Trek Coordinator

Tech Trek is a crucial program to prepare and empower the next generation of girls to go into these fields and increase the science and technology talent pool. Women in STEM benefit from highly stable, well-paying jobs while the STEM industry gains diverse perspectives from a deeper talent pool and more voices at the table. Opening up more opportunities and supporting girls in STEM is a win-win for Florida and the U.S. economy. Florida STEM professionals and employers are encouraged to make a contribution to their local girls’ participation in the camp by contacting: techtrekfl16@gmail.com or their local AAUW branch.

Tech Trek was created by an AAUW California branch in 1998.  In 2013, Tech Trek was scaled up to a national AAUW effort with 21 camps and since then, AAUW-FL has worked to ensure that Florida’s talented girls have an opportunity to be included in this dynamic program.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 900 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.

Tech Trek Camp Funding

It takes approximately $1,100 per girl to hold the camp each year. Branches should solicit financial support from local corporations  so the burden of financing the camp does not  fall entirely on AAUW Florida members.

Contributions, made payable to AAUW Florida Supporting Foundation, Inc., Please include Tech Trek in the memo line.

Mail them to Post Office Box 2938, Jupiter, Fl 33468.  Please include your branch name, if applicable, and your complete contact information so that we can thank you promptly for your generosity.

The camp activities include workshops, hands on exploration, investigation, experimenting and learning about robots, aeronautics, geology, food chemistry, forensics, mathematical and engineering applications, computer simulation, and coding Apps, along with gaining insights into some of Florida’s environmental problems.

Several girls from Volusia County have been nominated for this year’s camp.  We NEED your support of this important program!  

Camp History

AAUW has been a leader in the effort to interest more young girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (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.

Volusia County girls were among the young women who explored in 2021.  The 2020 camp was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Thank you to all who donated to support Tech Trek Florida!

Support an 8th Grade Girl at the 2022 Tech Trek Camp

AAUW-FL Tech Trek is a science and math camp for girls

Welcome to the Tech Trek Florida Website

June 2022
Stetson University, Deland FL

June 2022

Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter FL

Every Contribution Will Make a Difference!

_______ $ 25  for one lab notebook and a flash drive
_______ $ 50 Covers lab supplies for one camper
_______ $ 80  Provides for camper’s cost for half a day
_______ $160 Covers a full day of camp for one girl
_______ $200 Will feed a camper for a week
_______ $300 Sponsors a STEM teacher for the week
_______ $500 Finances half the camp cost for one girl
_______ $1000 Sponsors  a full week of camp for one girl
_______ $1000 Will fund the STEM professional women’s panel night

Make checks payable to AAUW
Write Florida Tech Trek 2020 on the memo
Mail this form and your check to:
Treasurer
Tech Trek Florida 2020
Post Office Box 2938
Jupiter, FL 33468

For More information about Tech Trek, visit our website: techtrekfl.aauw.net