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Local American Association of University Women Branch Sends Record Number of Girls to STEM Camp

The second session of Tech Trek Campers on site at UCSB. Click to view larger
The second session of Tech Trek Campers on site at UCSB. (AAUW photo)

The Santa Barbara-Goleta Valley branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has selected 28 seventh-grade girls from the Santa Barbara area to attend Tech Trek, a one-week STEM camp held at UC Santa Barbara and sponsored by AAUW.

The girls come from Carpinteria Middle School, Goleta Valley Junior High, La Colina Junior High, La Cumbre Junior High and Santa Barbara Junior High. They will live on the UCSB campus while participating in the program at the end of July.

All campers attend Tech Trek on scholarships provided by the local AAUW branches. Campers are selected by local branch members through a rigorous process including teacher recommendations, essays and personal interviews.

Santa Barbara-Goleta Valley AAUW is one of the top branches in the country in terms of the number of campers sent to Tech Trek, a feat only possible because of the generous financial support of our branch members and the community.

AAUW’s primary corporate sponsors for this year are Citrix Systems, Inc., Deckers Outdoor Corporation, L-3 Communications Corp-Maripro, Lopker Family Foundation, NuSil Technology LLCKarl Storz Imaging and Orbital ATK, Inc.

“Our local AAUW branch has made Tech Trek a priority because we know it can change the lives of young women in a positive way,” said Claire VanBlaricum, the local branch’s co-president.

Just one example of Tech Trek’s influence is Alexis Villa-Tavera of San Marcos High School, who recently won a $40k STEM scholarship from Southern California Edison. She credited Tech Trek as a major influence in her decision to pursue a career in engineering.

Starting as an AAUW California project in 1998 with a single camp, Tech Trek has recently become a national program of AAUW with 10 camps in California and 11 camps in other states.

The summer science and math camp is designed for girls entering eight grade and features hands-on activities to promote excitement and confidence in STEM fields.

At Tech Trek, girls are immersed in a world that empowers and encourages them to think about themselves as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians and computer programmers.

Jill Kingdon represents American Association of University Women.


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