Stockton University and the American Association of University Women found that an innovative program called Tech Trek encourages girls in math and science. This year 62 eighth grade girls learned about fields in which women are seriously underrepresented from women professionals in those fields.
At the William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center, the girls got to hear about the lives of women who work as pilots, engineers, and air traffic controllers. They asked air traffic controller Renee Zapf how many of her colleagues were women.
“It’s low. I’m not going to lie,” said Zapf, 30, of Hammonton. “They’re working on it. We need you ladies to step up and do your part.”
The girls who participated in the camp were from all over the state of New Jersey. They were immersed in workshops and science experiments.
“I want to be a chemist,” said 13 year old Caroline Endicott. “I learned binary code, and I’m good at it.”
The president of the Atlantic County AAUW chapter Linda Harmon said that girls make a choice by eighth grade, whether to pursue careers in the STEM fields. “And by the end of high school, fewer girls than boys plan to pursue STEM in college. AAUW Atlantic County supports every effort to reverse this long standing trend,” Harmon said.