September 30, 2012, Big Bear Lake, CA — In 1998, the American Association of University Women began a week-long science and math camp program for young girls called TECH TREK. Since then, the program has grown into a stellar example of what can be done to encourage girls to aspire to pursue a college education and especially to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Big Bear students have been a part of the program since its very inception, with a record breaking ten participating during the summer of 2012, at both UCSD and Whittier College. Participants included Ashley Walton, Hailey Hubbard, Hailey Miller, Jessica Lehner, Kaylee Egerer, Kimmie Taylor, Mackenzie McLaughlin, Mary Olsen, Rebecca Maybrier and Savannah Simmons. The girls will share their experiences at AAUW’s annual Tech Trek meeting on Monday, October 1st at 6:00pm in the MWD building.
Girls are recommended by their seventh grade math and science teachers at BBMS and then must complete the application process before being interviewed and selected by a panel of Bear Valley AAUW members. Experiencing college dorm life is only part of the overall experience. The campers select a core class and attend daily “classes” with hands-on activities, attend numerous field trips and are motivated by women working in science fields.
The cost per camper is $900 per year. AAUW holds the popular Annual Nut Sale in the fall, to help raise the needed funds. Members also make additional private contributions to support this much loved program. Other organizations in the valley, such as the Antique Car Club, Chamber Auxiliary and Soroptimist, have also generously contributed. Businesses such as Cool Cabins, FarSight Studios and Summit Dental have also been generous supporters.