By: Carly P. and Lizbeth M.
Catherine P. and Sara M. are two lucky students from Magruder Middle School. They participated in the 2013 Tech Trek by Exxon Mobil, two months ago in August. Tech Trek is an amazing program that engages seventh grade girls in a week-long camp of math and science on university campuses in California. The American Association of University Women, an organization that put Tech Trek on the map, with the goal to make advances in equality for women and girls, sponsored them, along with Exxon Mobil.
Q1: What is Tech Trek?
A: (Catherine) “Tech Trek is a program that two 7th grade girls that receives sponsorship through a local company for their financial support to participate in once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to local university over summer. They also got to be part of STEM program with other girls with similar interest and the love for math and science.”
A: (Sara) “Tech Trek is a math and science summer camp away from home for girls.”
Q2: For future Tech Trek hopefuls, what advice would you give to have a chance for this in 2014?
A: (Catherine) “Try to pursue and achieve excellence in all school subjects and be an outstanding student in especially in math and science. The reason is both teachers must recommend you for this opportunity.”
A: (Sara) “To try your hardest in math and science because your first selections will be done by the teachers’ recommendations. And those two subjects have more adventures.”
Q3: What is your personal experience at Tech Trek camp site and which camp did you attend?
A: (Catherine) “First, I participated at UC Santa Barbara. It was amazing because I got to be in the shoe of a typical college student from UC Santa Barbara. I got to eat at the university mesh hall and the meals were great. Ice cream night was my favorite. But most of all I got to go onto decommissioned oil rig off of the Pacific Ocean, alongside to the university campus. Of course, we were put into a cohort group of girls that needed to find possible solution for the decommissioned oil rig as well as to re-strengthened the oil rig structure too.”
A (Sara) “My experience at Tech Trek was great and exciting because we got to be in a college dorm for a week and do fun experiments.”
Q4: What did you learn from being a Tech Trek participant?
A (Catherine) “I learned that there are so many opportunities for girls like me in the field of STEM–Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. I also found this field of study to be fascinating and fun. Being surrounded by female professors that teaches at UC Santa Barbara inspired my desires to seek future careers in STEM as well. Furthermore, other girls were also great inspiration for me because they were equally enthusiastic about math and science and I felt very much belonged.”
A (Sara) “I learned many things in Tech Trek. Mostly I learned to be independent and make great friend and have opportunity to live alone on college campus without my family.”
Q5: What major role did you play as in Tech Trek?
A (Catherine) “I was put into a future chemist group to solve issues with oil rig reconfiguration purpose. So I was studying and acted as a chemist. I help others with chemical components that might help to bond and strengthening of the oil rig.”
A (Sara) “I was a glaciologist. I studied glaciers.”
Q6: By going to Tech Trek, what did you learned and how will you use this experience for future?
A (Catherine) “I learned that science and math are really practiced in the real world. Plus these subjects are not simple subjects to be studied and to be forgotten as you leave your classroom. I also think that it gave me a glimpse of what it is to be independent and doing what you love. I will definitely pay more close attention to my math and science class with personal thoughts of how it can be applied in my daily.”
A (Sara) “I learned a lot and experienced what it is like to be apart from my family for a week.”
Q7: Did you make a lot of friends?
A (Catherine) “I made a lot of different friends from other parts of California within different school districts as well. Such as, Camarillo, Lancaster, Simi-valley, and etc..
A (Sara) “I made a friend with dorm mom and roommates and people in my group.”
Q8: Who was your sponsor and what would you thank them for?
A (Catherine) “My sponsor was ExxonMobil and I would like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to participate as one of the Tech Trek participate. I will never forget this unique and fun learning experience.”
A (Sara) “My sponsor was ExxonMobil too. I want to thank them for paying for this scholarship.”
It seems that both candidates had a lot to say about their positive experience. It was wonderful to hear that so many girls are participating in the STEM program. I know that future 2014 Tech Trek hopefuls will look forward to an amazing experience as well. Good Luck candidates!