Tech Trek Takes Over Museum for 2nd Year

//Tech Trek Takes Over Museum for 2nd Year

Forty-seven, bright and enthusiastic young ladies from across the entire state of Oklahoma attended the second annual Tech Trek hosted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford, OK. Tech Trek is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) camp designed for girls entering the eighth grade. It is to encourage and demonstrate the knowledge of STEM to young girls who have an interest in those fields and encourages girls to begin a path toward pursuing a STEM career and college degree. The one week long camp features different classes and hands-on activities each day designed around STEM.
On Friday, Tech Trek spent the last full day of camp at the Stafford Air and Space Museum. There, the campers were introduced to the history and principles of flight and space science.
Camp Director and AAUW Weatherford Branch President Lisa Appeddu was happy to involve the museum in the curriculum of the camp.
She stated, “The Field Trip at the Stafford Air and Space Museum is the highpoint of the week for Tech Trek at SWOSU. The campers really enjoy the interactive exhibits and teaching style of the museum staff. Plus, the girls have a lot of fun applying what they learned during the week in their STEM core courses and workshops to aerospace concepts. Western Oklahoma is very fortunate to have such a wonderful resource as the Stafford Air and Space Museum.”
The campers were divided into two groups led by Museum Director Max Ary and Museum Curator Tanner Wheeler. One group learned about the basics of flight beginning with a tour of the aviation galleries inside the museum. Curator Wheeler led the flight principles class and performed demonstrations of the Bernoulli Effect and gravity, teaching the campers how airplanes fly.
The second group, led by Director Ary, was introduced to space and rocketry. Ary provided a tour of the rockets and engines inside the museum before demonstrating the steering of a rocket using a powered fan. He also explained the use of the different fuels used to power rockets by both liquid and solid fuel.
After a fun lunch of pizza and pop, the campers began the second half of their day at the museum by switching classes. An unscheduled surprise brought additional excitement to the day as another Osprey from the Bell-Boeing Factory from Amarillo, Texas, flew in to the Stafford Airport to perform several touch and go’s and practice maneuvers. The campers went outside to see the Osprey, for most of the campers it was their first time to see such an aircraft. The Osprey’s pilot tipped the aircraft’s wings as acknowledgement to the waiving campers.
Later in the day, the Tech Trek camp came back together for a final lesson to learn about living in space. It was here the museum staff performed additional demonstrations to show just how fragile a human body is in space. Demos included using liquid nitrogen and freezing a rose petal (similar to human skin) and showing the frail petal being frozen in seconds then being crumbled to pieces. The same method was applied to freezing a ping pong ball (representing a human eyeball). It was a smash hit with the campers.
At the end of their adventure inside the museum, the campers gathered for group pictures at the Apollo Boilerplate and F-4 Phantom.
The museum would like to thank the members of AAUW for designing the camp and for including the museum.
For more information about Tech Trek or AAUW, you can visit or check out their Facebook page .

By | 2015-04-01T19:28:45+00:00 July 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Tech Trek Takes Over Museum for 2nd Year

About the Author:

Chaney is the Marketing & Development Coordinator at the Stafford Air & Space Museum. Feel free to reach out via email at or phone at 580-772-5871.