Thursday, March 15, 2018

SWOSU AAUW Tech Trek STEM Camp 2017, Professional Women's Night

Where else would 43 campers, girls entering eighth grade,, and six junior counselors, eleventh graders returning to camp from 2014) have an opportunity to meet, talk to and learn from such a wide variety of professional women? Nowhere. 

Professional Women’s Night (PWN) lasts from about 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the evening. 

As an option to prepare mentors in advance, some information and a photo of each camper and counselor are shared via Dropbox so the mentors may get to know the girls. Handouts of the same documents are available at the registration table. Mentors are asked to send a brief bio and a photo prior to the event and to sign a standard release waiver. 

Format: "Speed Dating" Style

Mentors are paired with a professional or two from a related field, e.g., electrical or aerospace engineering, education, accounting, health, etc. Groups of two to four girls will be given approximately five minutes to visit with a table of mentors. The girls will be prepared with some questions to help them learn about mentors and their careers. At the end of the speed mentoring, girls are given a brief chance to connect with a mentor whom they have not met previously. According to Dr. Lisa Appeddu, camp director, the girls always like to hear about:
  • Education
  • What mentors do on a daily basis
  • How mentors arrived at where they are today
  • Anything personal mentors want to share, e.g., to illustrate that women can have careers and families
Mentors can ask questions, too. For example, 
  • Where the girls are from
  • What they like to do
  • What core course they are in (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) 
  • Their favorite part of camp so far, etc. 
Mentors are not put on the spot or be expected to give a speech. 

Attire & Props
After a week of high activity and casual clothing, the girls will be dressed up for this highly anticipated, special event. They have also been coached during the week on manners, interview skills, and other social/professional skills to be practiced at PWN. 

Mentors, who usually come from work, may dress in the attire they normally would for their careers, and even to bring “props” if they help to explain what you mentors do on a daily basis. Otherwise, business casual is appropriate. Mentors look forward to PWN because they are seeing, encouraging and mentoring many overachievers of the next generation.

Some out-of-state professional women, sometimes
former campers, are brought in by video conference.

Coffee, water and desserts but no meal are provided. After the speed mentoring concludes, girls may mingle with mentors during a short reception period. 

2017 Campers & Junior Counselors 
at the Professional Women's Night

Professionalism Award
Two campers will receive the professionalism award. Traits sought for the award include appropriate dress, good communication and listening skills, politeness, preparation, integrity and honesty. Mentors help identify campers which have these traits.  

PWN, a Favorite

Dr. Lisa Appeddu said that this event is rated as one of the camper’s favorites, as well as one of the most impactful, because "girls are able to experience new career options and to meet successful women." Professional women making the time for sharing themselves and their expertise inspire the girls to see what they can achieve professionally and personally and to aspire to lofty goals. 

2017 Professional Women's Night Mentors

Note: If any professional woman was from Southwestern Oklahoma State University or if a mentor's place of employment included the name of the town, the town is not listed after the job title.

  • Upekesha Addagatla, The Boeing Company, Mechanical Systems Design & Analysis Engineer, OKC
  • Debbie Allen, Weatherford Police Dept., Animal Control Supervisor
  • Morgan Arline, The Boeing Company, Electromagnetic Effects Engineer, OKC
  • Dr. Sue Ball, SWOSU Biology Dept., Anatomy Instructor
  • Madeline Baugher, SWOSU Computer Science, Program Director & NASA Space Consortium
  • Elizabeth Bayless, Miss SWOSU, Health Sciences Major
  • Nalley Bean, RDH, Hinton Family Dental, Registered Dental Hygienist, Hinton
  • Jessica Van Den Berg, Indian Health Services, Family Nurse Practitioner, Thomas
  • Dr. Lisa Boggs, SWOSU, Biology Professor
  • LaCreta Bowen, San Diego Independent School District, Athletic Trainer, San Diego, TX

  • Gwendolyn Burgess, University of Michigan Dept. of Pharmacology, Graduate Assistant, Pharmacology, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Dr. Melinda Burgess, SWOSU, Department of Psychology Professor
  • Rebecca Connor, Texas Instruments, SFAB WIN (Plasma Process Integration Engineer), Sherman, TX
  • Melanie DeFehr, Speech-Language Pathologist, Weatherford
  • Dr. Sally Drinnon, Western Oklahoma Drug, Pharmacist, Clinton

  • Beth Green, MCJ, CCSI, Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), Assistant Special Agent, OKC
  • Lt. Amanda Haggard, Clinton Indian Health Center, Pharmacist
  • Michele Hart, Michele Hart CPA, Accountant, Weatherford
  • Amanda Hills, Petroleum Geologist, EMP Geological Services,LLC, Weatherford/OKC
  • Rachel Hurt, Moore Norman Technology Center, Instructor of Programming & Software Development

  • Susan Jasper, Texas Instruments, SFAB Quality Manager (Engineer at Texas Instruments), Sherman, TX
  • Jennifer Johns, Help Desk, Hel Desk Computer Services, Weatherford
  • Kerri Kirby, Weatherford High Schook, High School Science Teacher
  • Dr. Heather Koch, DDS, Hinton Family Dental, Dentist
  • Dr. Denise L-G, SWOSU Language & Literature, Associate Professor
  • Dr. ChihChen Sophia Lee, SWOSU Music Therapy, Professor of Music Therapy
  • Shristi Maharjan, Bar-S Foods, Assistant Project Engineer, Bar-S Foods, Clinton
  • Lacee Martin, Elk City Hospital, Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Deb Monney, Bank of Western Oklahoma, Vice President, Weatherford
  • Ashley Murray, M.A., University of Toledo (OH) Dept. of Psychology, Graduate Assistant/Instructor of Psychology, Toledo, OH

  • Debi Murray, Bluth Family Medicine, Family Nurse Practitioner, Weatherford
  • Alli Reed, The Boeing Company, Electromagnetic Effects Engineer, OKC
  • Dorinda Risenhoover, NASA Space Grant Consortium, NASA EPSCoRm Education Coordinator, Norman
  • Tiler Rose, NASA, Product Development Lead (PDL) Intern, NASA, Titusville, FL
  • Susan Rose, Indian Health Services, Physical Therapist, Clinton
  • Bobbi Jo Smith, Weatherford Regional Hospital, Respiratory Therapist
  • Jennifer Staggs, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Oklahoma Medicolegal Death Investigator, Weatherford
  • Dr. Karen Sweeney, SWOSU Computer Science, Assistant Professor of Computer Science,
  • Gretchen Taylor, Red River Technology Center, Pre-Engineering Academy Instructor, Duncan
  • Vanessa Valli, Wright Radio Broadcasting, On-Air Personality, Music Director, Program Director of KWEY, Weatherford
  • Kelsey Wall, Corn Bible Academy, Math Teacher, Corn
  • Michelle Williams, Bar-S Foods, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCCP) Coordinator/Safe Quality Food (SQF) Practitioner, Bar-S Foods, Clinton
  • Kristi Windels, The Boeing Company, Project Engineer, OKC
  • Dr. Marilyn Wolgamott, Heartland Animal Hospital, Veterinarian, Weatherford
  • Bev Woodrome, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Boren Mentoring Initiative Director, OKC

  • Sherri Wooldridge, Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector, Weatherford
  • Karen Wright, HOSS Construction LLC, Operations Manager, Hinton
  • Haylie Zarate, The Boeing Company, Electrical Engineer, OKC 
  • Jenna Ziegler, Tinker Air Force Base, Aerospace Engineer, OKC

Speaking of professional women, we applaud the camp staff and volunteers for their professionalism, all-year planning and fundraising, unbridled passion and steadfast commitment to providing a high-quality educational and personal experience for the campers and junior counselors. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

SWOSU AAUW Tech Trek STEM Camp 2017, Engineering & Robotics

Although STEM is collaborative in problem-solving, engineering and robotics may require the most teamwork. In observing engineering teams building devices that do specific tasks, intelligent and creative AAUW Tech Trek campers pool all of their skills and creativity, test their ideas, and make revisions to achieve their goal. 

Engineering instructors were Southwestern Oklahoma State University's Cindi Albrightson and Duncan High School's Gretchen Taylor, a professional engineer now in education, who also worked with SWOSU's Madeline Baugher to present robotics curriculum.

Camp engineers must build a device that moves a figure from one location to another. How they accomplish the task, after instruction of basic principles, is up to the team. Using the scientific method, they collaborate extensively, alternate in the leadership role and both look at and help other teams. 


Gretchen Taylor, center, and Cindi Albrightson, engineering instructors, watch the progress of one team. They mingled among all of the teams to ask questions devised to drive critical thinking and problem solving. 

Pressure is the force applied per unit area and the force applied is perpendicular to the area. The unit of pressure is Pascal (newton / metre2). 

Other problems to solve...

Various factors influence pressure released.

Once campers build the device, how do they move the bottle? Hydraulics or pneumatics? 
Hydraulics is moving and operating equipment with oil or water under pressure. Pneumatics is air (gas) under pressure. Manually moving the syringes creates the pressure to move the load.

Introducing marshmallows into the syringes changes the air pressure. 

Campers also test hydraulics using water.

Serious business!


We did it!


Southwestern Oklahoma State University's AAUW Tech Trek STEM Camp offers different science, technology, engineering and mathematics core classes. This camp consists of hands-on core STEM classes, leadership, teamwork, etiquette, field trips, interviews/ mentoring with professional women and so much more.


Camp leaders have rebooted the experience as t
he Southwest Alliance for Girls' Enrichment (SAGE) STEAM Camp and will present a new Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) camp in June 2018. 

To learn more or make a donation, see SWOSU SAGE STEAM Camp       

Monday, March 12, 2018

SWOSU AAUW Tech Trek STEM Camp 2017, Apps & Technology

Here are more highlights from Southwestern Oklahoma State University's  AAUW Tech Trek STEM Camp. This camp consists of hands-on core STEM classes, leadership, teamwork, etiquette, field trips, interviews/mentoring with professional women and so much more.

The camp leaders have rebooted the experience as the Southwest Alliance for Girls' Enrichment (SAGE) and will present a new Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) camp in June 2018.

App Development 

  • Knowledgeable, excited instructors
  • Computer lab & iPads
  • Software
  • Magazines & craft materials
  • Poster board
  • Eager young ladies

 Apps the campers would like to make are imagined, designed tangibly and then developed step by step. Then developers play them!

Played on the iPad
Designed on the computer screen

App design on poster board first
The app executed

Proud app developers with the SWOSU mascot behind them!

Cyber Security 

Helpers include instructors, junior counselors and fellow campers.

Seventh grade math or science teachers as well as some principals recommend camp applicants. Along with written applications are interviews. Campers come from all over Oklahoma. [150 campers have applied for the 2018 camp in June so selection for around forty spots is difficult.] The camp offers middle school girls with ability in science and math the opportunity to see and experience new people, places and hands-on career exploration.


Leaders of this camp have improved upon the activities and rebranded it the SAGE STEAM Camp. Each camper's family pays $100. The rest of the $1,000 camp fee is earned through fundraising by the SAGE STEAM Camp leaders. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation for future camp attendees, please see:  

To learn more or make a donation, see SWOSU SAGE STEAM Camp.     

Donations can be made to the SWOSU Foundation with a note for SAGE STEAM Camp either online or through the mail.