Tech Trek at UAH sparks STEM interest in rising eighth-grade girls

Tech Trek 2016

Participants in Tech Trek 2016 visit the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Courtesy Molly Johnson

A total of 64 girls from 46 schools in Alabama are participating this week in Tech Trek, an American Association of University Women (AAUW) program, at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) campus from June 18 to June 24.

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.

Participants of the 2017 camp are enjoying courses on topics including NASA robotics, cybersecurity, app design and creation and everyday energy; field trips to aerospace giant PPG Industries; a tour of Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology; a visit to the iconic U.S. Space & Rocket Center; workshops on careers in science and preparing for college; and a Professional Women's Night at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Tech Trek campers from previous years were invited to return and share their experiences.

To keep the cost of the camp to a modest $50 per person, Tech Trek relies on the support of several sponsors including PPG Aerospace, UAH’s College of Engineering, Symantec, AAUW-Huntsville Branch, astronaut Jan Davis, Jacobs Engineering, Women in Defense -Tennessee Valley Chapter, Torch Technologies, Simtech and Eleanor S. Lienau.

Tech Trek at UAH is one of 22 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.


Dr. Rhonda Gaede

Jim Steele