AAUW Summer

June 3, 2008
By Elizabeth Ridolfi, Auburn, CA

During this past summer, I went to a science camp called Tech Trek at Fresno State College. The camp was sponsored by AAUW or American Association Of University Women. It was a week long science and math camp for girls. In March 2007, I was nominated by several of my teachers.First, I had to write an essay about myself and why I should be chosen to go. This was a little difficult because I didn’t want to blow my own horn and seem like I was bragging but I had to be convincing. After about ten revisions, I sent my essay in. After about a week( It seemed like a month) I got a call. I had been selected for the interview. I was so nervous. I thought they were going to ask me all kinds of science and math questions that I might not know the answers to. I went to the interview with my mom. I sat at a big long table with her and AAUW members ( some of them were old). They started asking me questions but to my surprise,the questions were things like “ How did you get the President’s Award for Science,Elizabeth?”A week after the interview, I got a call that I had been selected as an alternate which ment if a girl couldn’t go for some reason, I got to. About three weeks later, I got another call. I could go! I was so happy I ran up the stairs, jumped on my bed and did a mid air turn.There were two other girls from the Auburn area who could go to, Ashley and Serena. We met for ice cream a week before and talked the entire time.Ashley was more quiet and serious whereas Serena was more energetic. It took two hours to drive to Fresno.I checked in and after a pep talk by the staff, got to see my dorm. (It would of helped if I grabbed the right key).The dorms were tiny. There were two bunk beds with desks underneath them, two closets and a microwave. The walls were gray and the sheets anemically white. It was awesome! Mom (like all mothers) was worried about the beds because they were about ten feet off the floor without a ladder to get up or a railing. After a half an hour of telling her I wasn’t going to fall and break my neck, she kissed me on the top of the head and walked out. I shut the door. Yah! No parents for seven days. I climbed the side of my bed and accidentally banged my head on the ceiling. There was only about a foot and a half of room. There was a knock at the door. It was my room mate . Her named was Adriane. She was a tall ( and I mean tall) African American girl who lived at Edward’s Air force Base. She was very nice but was very annoyed by the beds. Another knock. It was Tess our dorm mom and Tierney our peer counselor. They said hi and told us to be down for dinner in fifteen minutes. Another knock. It was the two girls who were in the dorm next door Phoebe and Katie. We walked down to dinner together and talked the entire time in the food court mostly about classical music ( Phoebe is very good at playing the piano.). After rousing first night at camp activities that involved me running back and forth across the huge campus, we played Apples to Apples until about 10:30pm. That was the funnest week I have ever had. We extracted DNA from wheat germ, built hot air balloons and launched them( ours ended up in a tree), went bowling on campus and celebrated Tierney’s 17th birthday. We also went to the Challenger Center in Medera.That was fun. After a tour of the museum, we built battery operated cars, rockets and went on a Mission to Mars simulator. I had the job of remote. I had to take geological samples and research them. What they didn’t tell us was that there was a programmed computer malfunction. There was a sandstorm and the wires of the machines corroded. The computers failed and communications were knocked off line. We evacuated the planet. After the simulation was over, the man in charge said we did extremely well. A few days later, we went canoeing . It was fun and I was exhausted by the end of the day. We got stuck on a minnow bed. At the end of the bed was an eight foot drop off. We pulled the canoe over the bar and I got behind and pushed it off and jumped back in. I almost fell in the river. Before I knew it, the week was up. I talked the entire drive back about what I did. We were all sad to go because we had become friends and in a way sisters. In September, I went before AAUW and told them about my week at camp. I will remember it for the rest of my life and if I had a choice, I would do it again.

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This article has 1 comment.

luna4evr said...
on Aug. 31 2014 at 4:59 pm
No way! I got nominated for TechTrek, but I didn't get in. No such things as alternates this year. It sounds like a lot of fun. My two great friends got in though, the one at Stanford. Well, just replied to say congrats.

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