UAH to host second AAUW Tech Trek camp from June 21 through June 27

Four rising eighth-graders taking part in this year’s Tech Trek participate in a meet-and-greet held last month on the UAH campus.

Four rising eighth-graders taking part in this year’s Tech Trek participate in a meet-and-greet held last month on the UAH campus.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is pleased to announce the return of Tech Trek, an American Association of University Women (AAUW) program, to the UAH campus from June 21 to June 27. A weeklong residential camp, Tech Trek features intensive hands-on experiments and activities to promote interest in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields among rising eighth-grade girls.

"I am looking forward to seeing our new campers tackle the challenges of core classes, workshops, and other planned activities while they network with professional women in STEM and connect with new friends," says the camp's Social Media Coordinator Kenya Wallace, who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Materials Science at UAH and also serves as the Membership Co-Chair for AAUW-Huntsville. "The return of Tech Trek has me beyond overjoyed!"

This year campers - 65 girls from across the state of Alabama - were selected from a pool of 160 nominees. "The planning committee worked hard to expand the reach of the Tech Trek program," says Camp Director Dr. Rhonda Gaede, an associate professor of Electrical And Computer Engineering at UAH. "In 2014, we had girls from 5 counties; this year, 15 counties and 41 schools are represented. In future years, we may have multiple weeks of camp if we can continue to expand our funding base."

In 2014, we had girls from 5 counties; this year, 15 counties and 41 schools are represented.

Dr. Rhonda Gaede
UAH Tech Trek Camp Director

The camp's curriculum comprises morning and evening activities, several field trips, and a Professional Women's Night. Employees of AAUW's Tech Trek partner Lockheed Martin will also provide volunteer support, serving as role models for the campers. Research shows that girls who see successful women in STEM careers can overcome the negative stereotypes sometimes associated with those jobs.

And thanks to the success of last year's pilot program, campers will once again be able to take part in an app development course offered in partnership by AAUW and Verizon. Using the App Inventor programming tool developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the course is designed to strengthen the girls' entrepreneurship, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

To keep the cost of the camp to a modest $50 per person, Tech Trek relies on the support of several national sponsors, including AAUW, Verizon, and Lockheed Martin. Additional support is provided at the local level from UAH, Lockheed Martin Missile Defense Systems, the UAH College of Engineering, AAUW-Huntsville, the UAH College of Science, PPG Aerospace, Jacobs Engineering, Alabama EPSCoR, Dr. N. Jan Davis, Ms. Ruth Jurenko, and Ms. Eleanor Lienau.

Just as valuable to the camp's success are its dedicated planning committee members:

Planning Committee

  • Tamara Lang, Assistant Camp Director (Senior Staff Assistant, Mathematics, UAH)
  • Dr. Jennifer English, Fundraising Coordinator (Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UAH)
  • Dr. Monica Dillihunt, Family and Students Coordinator (Associate Professor of Education, UAH)
  • Dr. Molly W. Johnson, Marketing Coordinator (Associate Professor of History and Director of Women's and Gender Studies, UAH)
  • Kenya Wallace, Social Media Coordinator (Membership Co-Chair for AAUW-Huntsville and Ph.D. student in Materials Science, UAH)
  • Cindi Branham, Volunteer Coordinator (Co-President and Outreach Director for AAUW-Huntsville)
  • Joy Agee (Ph.D. student in Biotechnology, UAH)
  • Camille Woods (Master's student in Atmospheric Science, UAH)
  • Ashley Monroe (Alumna, Electrical Engineering, UAH)
  • Sarah Ragan (Outgoing Co-President for AAUW-Huntsville)
  • Audrey Salgado (Birmingham Interview Coordinator for AAUW-Birmingham)

Tech Trek at UAH is one of 21 nationwide camps, which together will serve more than 1,600 students this year. AAUW of California founded Tech Trek in 1998, and in 2012, the AAUW national organization started the National Tech Trek Pilot Program to give girls across the country access to this rich learning experience. UAH-AAUW's first Tech Trek was held in 2014.

 

Contact

Dr. Rhonda Gaede
 256.824.6573
Rhonda.Gaede@uah.edu

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