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Friday, February 15 , 2019, 4:33 pm | Mostly Cloudy 55º


AAUW Has Formula for Drawing 8th-Grade Girls into Science and Math

Students Sarah Lopez, Pearl Xiong, Lesley Vazquez and Destiny Burke from Vandenberg Middle School and Riley Bailey from Lompoc Middle School were selected to get a preview of college life while learning about math and science.

The girls attended the UCSB Tech Trek Science Camp for Girls, a summer program for eighth-grade girls sponsored by the American Association of University Women of California.

The Lompoc-Vandenberg Branch AAUW sent five girls for the second year because of a grant from Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) for three campers. SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Space X is headquartered in Hawthorne and has offices at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The students lived on the UCSB campus for a week, attending classes taught by credentialed middle-school teachers. Women who are professionals in the fields of math, science and technology were guest presenters.

Students are nominated by their teachers to attend the camp. The local AAUW branch, which raises funds for the students, makes the final selection of participants.

The first Tech Trek was held at Stanford University in 1998, with initial funding from the AAUW Educational Foundation. This year, there were 10 camps, at Whittier College, CSU Fresno, Sonoma State, UC San Diego, UC Davis, Stanford University and UCSB.

For more than 130 years, AAUW members' voices have been influencing critical women’s and civil-rights issues. AAUW membership is open to anyone who holds an associate degree or higher and is interested in advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

For more information about Tech Trek and AAUW, contact Pat Grijalva, president, at [email protected], 708-4190; or Dianne Owens, at  [email protected], 733-1734.

Dianne Owens for AAUW.

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