(Girls learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and loving it | Photo courtesy of AAUW TECH TREK)
Tech Trek Central Oregon has received a number of substantial grants, supporting the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) camp for girls for the 2019 season. The camp for incoming eighth grade girls, who enjoy science and math, introduces them to potential STEM careers they may not have thought of, allows like-minded girls to interact with each other and with STEM professional women role models, and allows the girls to “see” themselves on college campuses, potentially making a living wage in these fields in the future.
The campers represent Central Oregon, from Warm Springs to La Pine, and Sisters to Prineville. The selection of COCC for the week-long camp is aimed at a more realistic opportunity to experience a college campus. COCC has satellites in most communities, which will offer the campers a taste of dorm living, along with the connection to those satellites.
Kathi Dew, Leadership Team Chair says, “Without the help and support of our local and national grantors and donors there would be no such camp, which encourages girls to think ahead about their future, at a key time in their development, while viewing a bigger picture of their lives. We are grateful beyond measure.”
Leading the camp for 2019 are Kathi Dew, with impeccable credentials as former President of AAUW Bend, former AAUW of Oregon President, as well as being a retired Elementary School Principal. Joining Mrs. Dew in leadership, as Camp Director, is Stephanie Morrison, Curriculum Leader/Instructional Coach, STEM Club Advisor, 2017 Bend-La Pine Teacher of the Year Finalist, 2018 OSTA Outstanding Classroom Teacher (OSTA=Oregon Science Teachers Association), Bend-La Pine School District Middle School Teacher and Track Coach. Both women have been involved in the last two camps, Morrison as CORE class instructor and workshop provider, and Dew as Family Liaison on the previous two planning committees. One of their suggestions was to reduce the number of girls, so that the girls are better able to connect with each other and the staff.
Campers will experience their CORE classes of Cyber Security, Aeronautical Engineering, and App Creation. All the girls will be able to attend workshops based on the CORE material as well as a diverse array of workshops to become acquainted with each specialty. The Tech Trek Camp includes field experiences in Geology, Forestry, Water Ecology, and a Science Night with partnering business, Lonza, (formerly Bend Research). On the last day of camp, the girls will participate in Robotics exercises. Local female STEM professionals will offer workshops and will visit one-on-one with the girls at Professional Women’s Night, sharing their hopes, dreams and the realities of working in STEM fields.