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Governor's STEM Summit

The following information was presented at Governor Mary Fallin's STEM & Entrepreneurship Summit on November 2, 2017.

Five Years of Tech Trek at SWOSU

From 2013 to 2017, members of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) collaborated with Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) and other supporters to conduct Tech Trek at SWOSU – a week-long residential camp with the goal of increasing awareness and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers in girls entering the eighth grade.

Over the past Five years, Tech Trek at SWOSU has served:

image of Oklahoma map with county lines and names that demonstrates 208 campers, 42 OK counties served and 11 campers returned as junior counselors

2017 Tech Trek Components:

Core Courses: 12 Hours in One STEM Field

  • Science – Oil and gas by OERB and the Need Project (Conoco Phillips)
  • Technology – Mobile app inventor (MIT)
  • Engineering – Hydraulics and pneumatics to create movement
  • Math – Custom hula hoops, Newton’s Cradle, and “Pixar in a box”
  • OSBI, forensics, and DNA necklaces
  • Blue Thumb water quality
  • Pharmacy calculations and compounding
  • Symantec cyber security
  • Robots built from recycled materials and hummingbird kits

Workshops: 2 to 6 Hours in All STEM Fields

  • OSBI, forensics, and DNA necklaces
  • Blue Thumb water quality
  • Pharmacy calculations and compounding
  • Symantec cyber security
  • Robots built from recycled materials and hummingbird kits
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum – Uncover/discover lab
  • Devon Energy – Geology, engineering, and career development
  • iFly Indoor Skydiving – The Science of Flight (as presented by NASA EPSCoR)

image of hexagonal grouping with pictures of students participating in various SAGE STEAM Camp activities

Professional Women’s Night: Speed-meeting with 41 STEM Mentors

Field Trips: On-site STEM Learning in OKC

  • Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum – Uncover/discover lab
  • Devon Energy – Geology, engineering, and career development
  • iFly Indoor Skydiving – The Science of Flight (as presented by NASA EPSCoR)

Extra Workshops: To Promote Additional Growth

  • Icebreakers
  • Reflections
  • Thank-you note writing
  • Professional etiquette
  • Team banners
  • Tie-dye goggles
  • Record-keeping
  • Graduation and awards program

In 2017, the following results were found:

image that says over 88 percent of campers agreed that tech trek at SWOSU helped them very much to develop new hands-on skills and knowledge in STEM. There is a graphic of eight green women icons, one purple and green woman icon and one purple icon.

image that says over 80 percent of Tech Trek at SWOSU campers strongly agreed to statements regarding their interest, confidence in succeeding and future participation in STEM.

image of a hexagonal figure filled with type that says over 67 percent of campers agreeing that Tech Trek at SWOSU helped them try much to develop transferable skills in communication and teamwork.
image of a hexagonal figure filled with type that says over 98 percent of campers reported that Tech Trek at SWOSU helped them very much to make new friends.
bar graph that shows that Girls were given the same ten-question exam before (pre) and after (post) completing twelve hours of one core course in science, technology, engineering, or math. Results are shown in the graph (left) as the exam mean plus the standard deviation on average, there was a 62.2 percent improvement in scores.

Girls were given the same 10-question exam before (pre) and after (post) completing 12 hours of one core course in science, technology, engineering or math. Results are shown in the graph (left) as the exam mean plus the standard deviation on average, there was a 62.2 percent improvement in scores.

What Our 2017 Tech Trek at SWOSU Campers Had to Say:

  • “My experience at Tech Trek was life-changing, and I learned a lot more about STEM and being more confident in myself.”
  • “It made me feel like I wasn’t the only girl who understood and loved STEM.”
  • “Attending this camp made me feel better about myself and smart.”
  • “My experience at Tech Trek was so amazing. The strong women who dedicated all their time and effort to inspire girls to believe in themselves… you all went above and beyond for us.”
  • “I had an amazing experience at Tech Trek. I have learned a lot about STEM… I have learned that I should be confident in myself and do whatever I want to do in life without letting anyone stop me. I have also learned how to be a proper young lady.”
  • “It made me feel more confident about pursuing my dream job.”

image of a grouping of hexagonal photos of past activities

Camp reboot: From STEM to STEAM

Why Include the Arts with STEM?

  • Adding or emphasizing the Arts and Humanities may help to overcome the gender gap that still exists in STEM. 
  • A report from the Alliance for Science and Technology Research states that 47 percent of male students will show interest in STEM careers in 2017, compared to only 13.3 percent of girls with similar interests (Oklahoma Department of Labor, 2016).
  • Other findings suggest adding Arts may increase student interest in subjects which are perceived as less enjoyable or less relatable, such as STEM.
  • The Arts have naturally infiltrated into and enriched the former Tech Trek camp over the past five years.
  • Arts and Humanities can, on their own, enhance transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, and professionalism.
  • Programs such as the SAGE STEAM camp offer inquiry-based opportunities to Oklahoma girls to which they may not otherwise have access.
  • By implementing STEAM during camp, we will empower girls to seek out, recognize, and act on opportunities beyond camp as they make educational and career choices.

How the Arts and STEM go together:

photo of Mae Jemison sporting her space shuttle flight suit“The difference between Science and the Arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The Arts and Sciences are avatars of human creativity.” – Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison is an American dancer, engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the space shuttle endeavor on September 12, 1992.  View her Ted Talk

icon image that spells out ARTS with an easel, a paint palette and paint brush, an arrow with goals and musical notes.

The above information was presented by the Southwest Alliance for Girls' Enrichment (SAGE) at Governor Mary Fallin's STEM & Entrepreneurship Summit in November 2017. Presenters included (left to right): Dr. Jorie Edwards (SWOSU Psychology), Dr. Lori Gwyn (SWOSU Chemistry), Ella Barnett (2017 Tech Trek Camper from Weatherford), Breleigh Hughes (SWOSU pre-nursing major), Kyla Risenhoover (2016 Tech Trek Camper from Hydro), Erin Ridgeway (SWOSU Libraries) and Dr. Lisa Appeddu (SWOSU Pharmacy). 

photo featuring presenters at Governor Mary Fallin's STEM & Entrepreneurship Summit. Presenters included (left to right): Dr. Jorie Edwards (SWOSU Psychology), Dr. Lori Gwyn (SWOSU Chemistry), Ella Barnett (2017 Tech Trek Camper from Weatherford), Breleigh Hughes (SWOSU pre-nursing major), Kyla Risenhoover (2016 Tech Trek Camper from Hydro), Erin Ridgeway (SWOSU Libraries) and Dr. Lisa Appeddu (SWOSU Pharmacy).

facebook icon links to SAGE STEAMtwitter icon links to SAGE STEAM pageicon that links to SAGE STEAM linkedin page

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