Cape May County has sent over 25 girls to Tech Trek since it started.

Girls going into eighth grade are recommended by their middle school teachers. After essay submissions and interviews, a statewide selection committee chooses 60 girls to be "Tech Trekkers" each summer.

Over 120 girls apply throughout New Jersey. Cape May County is usually allotted six girls. The girls have represented Wildwood, Middle Township, Crest Memorial and Lower Regional middle schools.

Each summer, Stockton University and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) partner to host Tech Trek, an award-winning, week-long residential camp for rising eighth-grade girls focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics. This year, more than 60 girls attended. Six are selected each year from Cape May County.

“Girls who attend this camp tell us every year that they are inspired and motivated to continue pursuing their passion for science, technology, engineering, and math," said Claudine Keenan, camp coordinator and Stockton School of Education dean. "The role models and peers they meet sustain their commitment during inevitable experiences of subtle discouragement or implicit bias. They make lifelong friends and network with other women who also continue to mentor them."

The goal of Tech Trek is to allow girls to immerse themselves in a world that empowers and encourages them to think about themselves as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer specialists. Stockton faculty, staff, students, and alumni participate by leading classes on STEM topics.

Two girls from Tech Trek came to the Cape May County Zoo Aug. 29 to place water barrels in strategic places for the animals and vegetation. Camp Director Anne Marchesani, Zoo Program Coordinator Jean Whalen and Tech Trek Curriculum Coordinator Meghan Hooper-Jackson spent the afternoon arranging the barrels, assembled from recycled car wash containers and hand painted by the girls.

Green Creek resident Lindsey, an alumni Tech Trek camper, came to the zoo to support camp and help enforce efforts for water conservation and repurposing.

Lyla, a Tech Trek camper this summer traveled from Glen Rock, to place the rain barrels at the zoo, where the public could see them in use.

Reported by Randi Ziring and Kat H. Wentzell.