Tech Trek 2016

LWB Chooses Campers for
Tech Trek AAUW

Lake Washington Branch made the decision last fall to move from offering financial support to the Tech Trek movement to choosing their own campers from candidates nominated by teachers within the Bellevue School District. LWB had set aside a portion of their development funds to support two candidates at a cost of $900 each and AAUW-WA was willing to support an additional candidate since LWB was new to the program.

Tech Trek is a nationally supported AAUW program for rising 8th grade girls to pursue science, technology and math at a week-long residential camp on a college campus. It was started in California in 1998 and began in Washington in 2013 as a pilot program at Pacific Lutheran University with 50 campers. It has grown to two campuses, PLU and Eastern Washington University, and doubled in numbers of campers as well.

With the support of Marilyn Henselman, supervisor of Career and Technical Education for BSD, science and technology teachers at Highland and Odle Middle schools were contacted and requested to nominate candidates from their seventh grade girls. Teachers were asked to nominate students with an interest in science and technology who had at least a “B” average and would likely not have the opportunity to attend a camp like Tech Trek.

Each school nominated 5 students and two students from Highland and three from Odle each completed an application and an essay on how they would use science to make the world a better place. Rosemary James and Sandy Heidergott reviewed the applications and essays and met with the girls and their parents to describe the Tech Trek program and evaluate the girls according to the guidelines of the program.

Two girls were chosen from Odle as campers with one alternate. From Highland, one girl was chosen as a camper with an alternate. The campers’ families will pay $50 for their daughters to participate. In the past, there has been sufficient financial support to allow the alternates to attend as well which could happen again this year. Tech Trek will be held July 10-16, 2016 at PLU and usually has one day when visitors are welcome. Each of the campers is expected to act as an ambassador for the program so we hope that branch members will be able to meet our excited, energetic campers at a future branch meeting.