2021 Tech Trek will be Virtual

For more information click HERE to go to the 2021 Virtual Camp website.

Virtual Tech Trek is designed to provide campers with exposure to computer science and engineering, along with workshops designed to explore individual STEM specialties more deeply using a hands-on or interactive approach. Hands-on activities, inspirational speakers, and interactive workshops help to make STEM subjects fun as well as educational. Trained instructors and coaching staff including near-peer Tech Trek alumnae, work alongside credentialed teachers, and women in STEM-related careers.

This is a week-long virtual camp for rising 8th grade girls. The camp is centered on a morning  project-based robotics/engineering/coding class that meets daily and results in a personalized creation by week’s end. After lunch, the campers hear from inspirational women for an hour, then participate in one or more 90-minute hands-on or interactive science, technology, engineering, and math workshops to encourage fun while learning.  They can return for evening workshops with girls from another country, social activities, or even parent sessions.

While the university campus continues to be an integral component of the Tech Trek experience, it is one that must be forgone this year.  The virtual camp addresses an equally critical component:  exposure to STEM subjects in a welcoming community. Under the careful supervision of trained coaching staff in a low 3:1 camper-to-staff ratio, and using kits distributed prior to camp, the campers will interact with women who model a high degree of science, technology, engineering, or math expertise as part of their daily lives.

In 2021, three Monday-Friday weeks are currently scheduled:

  • June 21-25
  • July 12-16
  • July 26-30

Each camp will serve approximately 300 campers from all over California.

Students at participating schools are nominated by their teachers. Parents can contact the middle school guidance counselor or science teacher or their local branch to see if their school is participating. The nomination and selection process will begin after January 2021.


Welcome to UC Davis Tech Trek


“I walked into Tech Trek as an eager girl hoping to learn more about STEM and do more hands-on activities, but I am coming out a confident young lady who has learned more about the world and all the opportunities it holds,” said one camper at Tech Trek at UC Davis. “Tech Trek is an extraordinary camp that changed my life, and will change other girls, too.”

At Tech Trek @ UC Davis, rising 8th grade girls are immersed in a world that empowers and encourages them to think about themselves as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, computer specialists, and much more.

Designed for girls entering 8th grade in the fall, Tech Trek allows them to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related academic and career opportunities. Held on the university campus, Tech Trek’s aim is to promote a “We can do it!” spirit. The camp fosters interest, excitement, and self-confidence in girls by providing a stimulating environment of hands-on classes, workshops, field trips and activities. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on the UC Davis campus where camp is held.

Where do we find our campers?

All girls attend Tech Trek camps with sponsorships provided by their local AAUW branch members, working with participating schools in their area. Seventh grade science, math and/or technology teachers at these schools recommend camper candidates who must then pass through an extensive qualification process that includes an application, an essay, and a personal interview. Camp curriculum is targeted specifically at girls entering 8th grade.

AAUW branches are not always able to work with every local school, either because the principal, counselors, and/or teachers choose not to, or because there are too many schools and too few scholarships available in the local area. Girls must attend the camp at which the local AAUW branch has made reservations.

Parents cannot pay for their daughters to attend Tech Trek; all campers must attend a participating school. Organizations, unions, groups of teachers, etc., may work with their local AAUW branches to become Tech Trek sponsors by raising funds.

Why Tech Trek?

Research findings have shown that middle school is a critical time when girls tend to stray from studying math, science, engineering and technology. It is clear that we need to ensure those girls who are interested can and will pursue these areas without any barriers. That’s where Tech Trek comes in.

Since 1998, the AAUW Tech Trek program has been helping girls continue their interests in STEM exploration and learning, through the tricky years when new distractions enter their lives. Studies have shown that girls’ interests can be sustained if they are exposed to the careers available to women in STEM today. Tech Trek provides this exposure. Packed with hands-on experiments and learning experiences, Tech Trek includes related field trips, guest presentations by professional women, and the chance to live on a college campus.

Our hope is that campers will consider entering the STEM fields, especially those which are currently under-represented by women. (See “Why So Few”, an AAUW study: www.aauw.org/research/why-so-few/)

What’s more, a week’s stay on an exciting college campus helps girls picture themselves on such a campus and visualize college in their future. This is particularly important for girls whose family members have not attended a college or university.

Would you like more information about Tech Trek @ UC Davis?

Contact Susan Wheeler and Martha Rees, Camp Co-Directors, at techtrek-davis@aauw-ca.org. (Please include TT or Tech Trek in the subject line, and indicate your city in the text.)