Tech Trek

Tech Trek is a week-long summer camp sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). These programs take place on university campuses across the United States, providing hands-on, problem-solving experiences for middle school girls. Tech Trek camps are centered on AAUW research, designed to make STEM fields fun and engaging. Campers take on fun projects, meet women who are STEM professionals, and learn about STEM career paths, from medicine to engineering. According to former Tech Trek campers, 73% of survey respondents said the program introduced them to a STEM college major they didn’t previously know about, while 87% said they learned about a new STEM career option.

Tech Trek Sonoma State showcases the field of structural engineering to campers by introducing them to female engineers from ZFA’s Santa Rosa office, along with many other professional women in STEM fields. We speak about the field of structural engineering, while engaging with questions from campers. We also discuss the college degree path to structural engineering, different types of projects in this field, and the design and construction process. The last part of our presentation consists of tips and tricks for building strong structures. These come in handy for campers as the much anticipated “Build It Night” approaches.

“Build It Night,” the culminating project of Tech Trek camp at Sonoma State, challenges campers to construct absolutely anything out of rolled newspapers and tape. “Build It” structures have ranged from towers, to swing sets, to oversized cameras!

ZFA is proud to be part of this valuable program, which fosters creativity, confidence, and curiosity—we look forward to seeing the great things that come from the next generation of women in STEM.