Tech Trek

Tech Trek Camp Visitation Day A done Deal

by Kim Lillard

2017 Campers and Counselors from left: Feisah Teope, Yuliana Quijas, Hannah Treehan, Pearl Dohan and Anjali Desai (former Branch campers and now counselors), Mackenzie Culler, Allisyn Toth, Ramneek Kaur

Noreen Briggs and Dotti May

The 2017 Camp Visitation Day was a rousing success, with more visitors at-tending the camp than ever have be-fore. Roseville-South Placer added to that number by seven, including Branch members Lois Adams, Noreen Briggs, Patti Kingston, Kathy Kort, Kim Lillard, Dotti May, and Viktoria Peterson to check things out. Morning classes offered at camp this year included  Anatomy, Environmental Engineering, Genetics, 3-D Math, plus a brand new class titled Cyber Security. Afternoons were spent at self-defense, scientific experiments, audio engineeringat The Mondavi Center, and many other activities. Among the various evening activities,one stood out in particular: a chance to meet professional women in a roundhouse event.
Girls were able to interact with a professor of plant pathology, a transportation engineer, a CSI archaeologist, a farmer, a forensic scientist, a veterinarian, an Intel software engineer,an infectious diseases physician, SMUD’s director of accounting, and a winemaker. The
girls had hundreds of questions and received answers from women who know what it takes to pursue career in these STEM fields.

Kathy Kort and Noreen watching a dissection

That Dissection!

Campers interviewing STEM Women

This year, we were fortunate to have two of our former Trekkers, Anjali Desai and Pearl Doan, as Junior Camp Counselors. These are former Trekkers, now in high school, hand-picked by the Camp Directors to serve as assistants to the morning class instructors and mentors to the
current campers. Thanks go to the girls for continuing to represent our Branch at Tech Trek camp.

Although our esteemed Branch member Lois Adams has been involved with Tech Trek since
its inception in 1998, she had never been able to attend a Camp Visitation Day until this year. We were honored to have her experience first-hand the fruits of all her labors over the years. Thank you, Lois!

Keep watching future Branch Lines for a chance to attend an in-depth look at our Tech Trek scholars and the achievements they engage in throughout the Tech Trek Camp week. If you
have donated your time or funds in the past, or if you would like to volunteer to be a more
active participant in our STEM programs, you won’t want to miss this coming event.

For more information on Tech Trek or the expansion of our STEM program, please contact Kim
Lillard by email at or by phone at 916-899-1899Your donations to the Branch changes young women’s lives as they see other young
girls like them in STEM programs at Tech Trek. These young women are our future!

Tech Trek Receives a Foundation Grant

Special thanks to the Bardis Foundation, created by Christo Bardis of Reynen and Bardis, homebuilders in the greater Sacramento area for over 40 years. Katherine Bardis, administrator of the foundation and the daughter of Christo Bardis, presented to the Branch’s Tech Trek program a Foundation Grant for $900. Katherine joined the building industry in 2012 by creating Bardis Homes with her cousin Rachel Bardis. At the same time, she completed her Juris Doctor degree at McGeorge School of Law. Katherine and Rachel are role models for young girls in the STEM fields. They have applied their education and knowledge of STEM concepts to design homes and communities for families in the Sacramento area. The Branch is grateful to the Bardis Foundation for the support of young girls in the Tech Trek Program. You can read more about them here.

Tech Trek Girls 2016

Tech Trek Girls 2016

AAUW Roseville – South Placer is a 501(c)(3) tax deductible organization.

California’s Tech Trek experiences are part of the larger AAUW effort to encourage young women to enter the STEM fields:  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In 2013, Tech Trek became a National AAUW program. Before 2011, Tech Trek students from our branch attended a week at Stanford University. With the growth of Tech Trek statewide, a new program opened at U.C. Davis, where our students now attend.

During their week at U.C. Davis, the girls participate in rich scientific programs offered by the university. This summer program provides classes in math and science while afternoon and evening programs allow for field trips, craft projects, and physical education. Each Tech Trek experience also includes instructional presentations by visiting experts and professionals in the STEM fields. Programs have featured genetics, 3-D math, engineering, wildlife and environmental conservation, robotics, acoustics, chemistry, astronomy, and medicine. Some of our former campers have later served as junior camp counselors, and many go on to attain degrees in one of the scientific fields.

Middle schools in the Granite Bay, Roseville, Rocklin, and Lincoln areas participate in the competition for the 5 campers that we send to Tech Trek. No more than one student may be selected from any of the participating middle schools.

AAUW members may support Tech Trek through: serving on the Tech Trek committee, assisting with the spring ice cream social for the girls, and/or contributing financially to the Tech Trek program.paragraph_separator

Tech Trek girls create STEM-inspired table centerpieces for branch’s June installation luncheon.

Tech Trek Campers Create STEM-Inspired Table Centerpieces

Tech Trek Campers Create STEM-Inspired Table Centerpieces


On Thursday, July 14th, several AAUW RSP members made the trip over to UC Davis to visit the young women whom our branch sent to this year’s Tech Trek Camp. The visitors from our branch, including Kathleen Crawford, Sue Orvis, Viktoria Peterson, Noreen Briggs, and Kim Lillard, were greeted by Camp Directors Martha Rees and Susan Wheeler. Martha and Susan are energetic, fun, enthusiastic leaders of the UC Davis camp, and the love of what they do shines through for everyone to see.

Camp dorm moms were assigned to take groups of visitors to each of the morning classes at Thompson Hall, in which all of the Trekkers participated. Visitors made the rounds of Anatomy, Genetics, App Inventions, 3-D Math, and Environmental Engineering, among others, to see what the girls were learning from their choice of classes. Bones and animal parts were prevalent in Anatomy; girls proudly wore a necklace of DNA that they had extracted from a strawberry in Genetics; visitors played with the computer games created by girls in App Inventions; 3-D Math girls created roller coaster and bridge prototypes; and Environmental Engineers presented their case for or against windmills in their town in front of a mock city council made up of Thursday’s branch visitors, including our ladies Kathleen, Sue, Viktoria and Noreen.
Visitation Day concluded the morning with a tour of the girls’ dorm rooms, and a question-and-answer session held by the camp directors in the shady courtyard in front of Thompson Hall. Although visitors were welcome to join the Teck Trek girls at lunch in Segundo Hall and the afternoon classes across the campus at the Robert Mondavi Performing Arts Center, our group (like most visitors) chose to reconvene at a nearby restaurant to talk about the wonderful things we had seen during our tour.

Visitation Day is a highly anticipated and much-loved event each year at Tech Trek Camp. I encourage you to make the trip next year to see our girls involved in these fun and educational classes, group sessions, and life lessons. You will come away with great memories and a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the power of STEM concepts to change girls lives. For more information about Tech Trek, please contact Kim Lillard at or 916-899-1899.