Tech Savvy


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What is Tech Savvy?

Tech Savvy is a one-day conference designed to give sixth to ninth grade girls and their parents an opportunity to experience firsthand how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields can lead to exciting careers. There are also informative workshops planned just for parents/guardians/mentors who attend.

Date and Location: Saturday, April 8, 2017, University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, 1478 Midway Rd, Menasha WI 54952.

Cost: Only $5 per girl and an additional $5 for each parent/guardian attending with her. Cash and checks are accepted at the door.

Parking: Our parking lot is on the west side of the building. Use Entrance 16W, located near the Communication Arts Center. From Midway Rd, turn onto University Drive.  There is plenty of free parking.

Campus directions and parking map:

Start and end times for the conference:
7:30 AM-8:30 AM Check-in and Breakfast
8:30 AM-4:00 PM Conference

Workshop Start & End times

Workshop 1-9-9:50am     Workshop 2-10-10:50am      Workshop 3-11-11:50am

Girls STEM Workshops

First year girls:  Choose Two STEM Workshops and College Savvy

College Savvy

Explore the STEM programs at local technical, 2-year and 4-year colleges.  Learn about college interviewing and possible STEM courses in areas you find interesting.

Returning girls:  Choose Three STEM Workshops

Genes in a Bottle

Come capture your genetic essence in a bottle!  In this session, you will extract genomic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from your cheek cells and watch it precipitate from solution as floating white strands.  Your very own DNA will be collected and transferred to a helix-shaped necklace that you can take home. 2 sessions of 18 girls  9:00 and 10:00

Mysterious Dark Matter

Dark Matter literally holds galaxies together, yet it is so difficult to detect that, so far, we know very little about it.  Come learn about the search for mysterious Dark Matter and how we know that it’s there in the first place!

The Strength of Paper

What do you like about plastic? It’s waterproof, it’s strong…but it’s not very environmental.  Papermakers have new technologies to strengthen paper to perform just like plastic and is better for the environment.  Test the strength of paper vs. plastic, and make a sheet of paper to take home with you.

Make Your Own Pearlized Soap

Cosmetics and personal care products are an integral part of our daily lives. Cosmetic Science is an ever growing and exciting arena for categories such as soaps, lotions, colored cosmetics, toothpastes and sunscreens. In this program, you will learn how to make a liquid hand soap.

Fuel for Fun

We eat to fuel our body for work, study, and fun. Food with vitamins and minerals will keep us healthy.   With so many food choices how do you choose healthy fuel?  Explore the foods you eat, investigate the health impact of your favorite snacks, and learn how to make healthy fuel choices.  One Session 11:00-11:50

Microorganisms in My Food??

Did you know the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat can be delicious?   Learn about fermentation through the making of pizza dough!

Bioluminescence – Make Bacteria Glow in the Dark 

Participants will do a genetic transformation of the luciferase gene into E. coli bacteria and observe the bioluminescence of the previously transformed bacteria. We will discuss the concepts of DNA, genes, cloning and the use of bacteria in molecular biology, and careers and training in biotechnology.10:00 session and 11:00 session only

Lady Gogo – Car Build and Race

Build a “car” out of some old CDs and office supplies and race against your new-found friends! Then make some tweaks and see how it changes the speed, distance traveled, and ability to go straight. Learn from engineers how design and test iterations are used throughout the engineering process.

Crime Scene Detective

Your classroom has been trashed and your classroom pet is missing. Blood and muddy shoe prints are scattered on the floor.  It’s up to you to solve the mystery. Use forensic science tools to solve the crime and identify the suspect.

One 2-hour session:  9:00-10:50

Knowing the Code – Computer Coding

Behind everyday life there are computer scientists writing code to make smart phones work, broadcast radio, create video games and so much more.  Computer scientists use math, logic and perseverance to write software to better everyday life.  Please join us at Know the Code to learn more.  Workshops 1 & 2 sessions only

Seeing in 4D:  Learning to Think Like a Geologist

Geologists are time travelers – by looking at rocks, they can conjure up long-vanished worlds.  In this session, we will travel back in time in Wisconsin to different intervals when the state was the site of coral reefs, tropical beaches, volcanoes, mountains and earthquakes.

Hacking is a Legit Career

This workshop is intended for those who are interested in learning what it takes to be a cyber-security professional. You don’t need to be a coder to be a successful hacker! In this hands-on workshop you will get a taste of how you can use your resourcefulness, your logic, your creativity, and your study habits to build a strong cyber-security career. Workshop Session #3 only

Girls’ Program

7:30am-8:30am Check-in and Breakfast
8:30-9:00 Welcome w/adults
9:00-9:50 Workshop 1 or College Savvy
10:00-10:50 Workshop 2 or College Savvy
11:00-11:50 Workshop 3 or College Savvy
12:00-12:50pm Lunch w/adults
1:00 – 1:35 Savvy Skills Workshops
1:40 – 2:15 Savvy Skills Workshops
2:20 – 2:50 Savvy Skills Workshops
3:00-3:30 Keynote Speaker w/adults
3:30-4:00 Closing Ceremony w/adults

View our video from 2015.




Jan. 3, 2017


Jeanne Tondryk, Committee Co-chair


Collaboration between the Appleton and Oshkosh branches of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently resulted in a second successful grant application to the national AAUW, enabling them to present Tech Savvy, a one-day conference for area girls in grades 6-9 and their parents/guardians.  This year’s Tech Savvy conference will be held at UW Fox Valley, Menasha, Wisconsin, on Saturday, April 8, 2017.  Registration and application forms will be available throughout Outagamie and Winnebago county school districts in mid-February 2016.

Tech Savvy is a national AAUW program started in 2006 by Tamara Brown of the Buffalo (NY) AAUW branch.  It is designed to give sixth to ninth grade girls an opportunity to experience firsthand how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields can lead to exciting careers.  The AAUW-Appleton/Oshkosh Tech Savvy will be one of only 22 pilot programs nationwide for 2016, seven of these being new conference sites.  About 250 girls and their parents/guardians, encouraged by teachers, counselors, and coaches, will be invited to register for the conference.  Since its inception, Tech Savvy has reached over 2000 girls in the past seven years, and led Brown to be named a White House “Creator of Change.”

Jeanne Tondryk, of the Oshkosh AAUW branch, is the local Committee Co-chair and Fundraising Coordinator. The committee also includes Stephanie Malaney, Co-chair and marketing and outreach coordinator,  and Jacqueline E. Klimaszewski, curriculum and volunteer coordinator. Karen Reiter will be our volunteer manager.

Tech Savvy 2015 – UW Oshkosh – April 2015

_MG_8162 Tech Savvy-2