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AAUW Tech Trek Central Oregon returns for fourth year

AAUW Tech Trek C.O. 2020

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Tech Trek Central Oregon is moving into its fourth year with a STEM camp for current seventh-grade girls in Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes counties, and using its experience from the last three years of camps to energize the girls.  

The purposes of the camp include supporting girls who enjoy science and math, introducing them to other potential STEM careers they may not have thought of, allowing like-minded girls to interact with each other and support each other, to exchange ideas with STEM professional women role models, and to “see” themselves on college campuses, then making a living wage in their futures.

The 2020 Tech Trek Central Oregon, which will be held June 21-26, is changing the venue back to OSU-Cascades, where the first two camps were held.  

Many other facets of the camp will remain the same, such as the Leadership Team leader, the Camp Director, the Camp Core Teachers and Nurse, and the number of girls served (48), for a more personalized experience and an enhanced learning environment.

Sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Bend Branch, and partners and donors from the various communities, the camp serves girls who will enter 8th grade next fall, from all around Central Oregon, Warm Springs to La Pine, and Sisters to Prineville.

Leading the camp again for 2020 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.  The Camp Director is Stephanie Morrison, an amazing Bend-La Pine School District Middle School Teacher and Track Coach.  

Both women have been involved in the last three camps, Morrison as CORE class instructor and workshop provider, and Dew as Family Liaison and Planning Team Leader on the previous planning committees.  

Their suggestion to reduce the number of girls last year proved invaluable, so that the girls are better able to connect with each other and the staff.  They also added a professional counselor, to help oversee the girls and their college student group counselors.

The selection of OSU-Cascades, again, will give the campers a picture of campus life on a growing campus.  It is a college very much in transition, experiencing a growth spurt.  Through the Open Campus /Extension services, OSU Cascades has a presence in each of our counties.

This is an academic camp, with ample opportunities for both learning and fun.  Each year the girls fill out pre- and post-surveys, which help the committee with workshop choices and CORE classes.  The CORE classes, Cyber Security, Engineering, and App Creation are already scheduled with experienced instructors for each.  

Though each girl will not necessarily get her CORE choice, each will be able to attend a workshop based on that material, to glimpse each specialty.  

Also in the plan are field experiences in geology, forestry, water study, and a Science Night with partnering business, Lonza, (formerly Bend Research). 

Though the workshop list is not finalized, the committee expects to offer workshops in such areas as plant propagation, medical specialties, geology, more computer based experiences, personal finance, journaling, water science, writing “thank-you” notes, and many others.   

If you are a STEM professional wanting to offer a workshop, or a potential sponsor, please contact Kathi Dew, for more information at:  howardkathidew@msn.com.

For girls and families interested in the camp, dates of the Tech Trek Central Oregon camp are June 21-26. The applications will be in public schools across Central Oregon in January, with interviews starting in February, in each community.  

With the help of grants, donations and sponsorships, we charge only $50 to the family for participation.  Interested seventh grade-girls should talk with their school Principal, Science, Math, or Technology teacher about the application process.  The schools have information regarding the application process and camp.

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