WEATHERFORD — The classrooms at Southwestern Oklahoma State University were filled with a lot of brainpower last month, as eighth-grade girls from across the state took part in a “deep dive” in science, technology, engineering and math, with the goal of solving problems in their communities.
The Tech Trek camp, organized by the American Association of University Women, is one of three camps held nationally that are funded in part by an $84,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation. Tech Trek is in its second year at SWOSU.
Through Tech Trek, the university women’s association works to close the gender gap in STEM careers by encouraging young women to experience the fields of science and technology.
In Weatherford, campers learned basic programming skills, app design and an Massachusetts Institute of Technology-designed App Inventor tool. Students identified problems in their local communities and worked to create a solution by building an application to solve that particular problem.
“With this new course, girls had access to a high-quality learning experience developed by one of the world’s best research universities,” said Linda D. Hallman, American Association of University Women executive director and CEO. “The campers were able to see themselves as innovators and problem-solvers helping their community. It was yet another opportunity for them to explore STEM in cool and creative ways, and we’re grateful to the Verizon Foundation for making it possible.”
Miss Oklahoma 2014, Alex Eppler, a science teacher, spoke to students about her experience working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
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