Tech Trek NM, a residential summer camp focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for ascending 8th grade girls, was conducted June 10-16 on the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro, sponsored by the American Association of University Women New Mexico. Courtesy photo
Madelyn Crotzer. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos Middle School student Madelyn Crotzer attended Tech Trek NM June 10-16. She reflected on her camp experience to AAUW Los Alamos Branch members during their annual lunch Saturday, Sept. 15.
Participants were nominated by their science or math teacher. Students completed an application and interview process before final selections were made in early April.
Cost for the camp was only $50 per student, as the program is funded by AAUW-NM as well as by New Mexico businesses and individuals. Sixty-five girls were chosen from across the state of New Mexico to attend the camp where they gained first-hand knowledge of real world applications of STEM in a fun-filled, hands-on college environment.
The camp builds on AAUW’s research report Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, which identifies camps like Tech Trek as increasing girls’ interests in STEM fields. Girls benefit greatly from exposure to STEM role models, knowing that they, too, can excel in these fields.
Corporate and government funding was provided by Sandia National Laboratories, NM PED, Honeywell, Raytheon and LANL Foundation. Los Alamos volunteers participated in many ways. Helena Whyte, Mary Ann Lindahl and Malea Joyce served on camp staff. Laurie Waters, Ayana Ghosh and Mathamuseum conducted hands-on workshops. Di Ye provided the opening Growth Mindset motivational address.