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An inside look at the 2023 Thanksgiving Math Tournament

Learn about the experiences of the students who competed in the 2023 TGT as well as those who helped make it happen.

Mathematicians in the Making: Young students work hard to solve challenging math problems.

Orange County Math Circle successfully hosted the 16th annual Thanksgiving Math Tournament on Dec. 10. This year, STEAM for All hosted a mock TGT virtually on Nov. 10 before hosting the in-person TGT at University High School.


With a mission to engage students in mathematics, OCMC has hosted the Thanksgiving Math Tournament since 2007. The event features an individual test round and a team activity round where students in grades three through six solve various competitive math problems. At the end, students are recognized for their skills and participation at an awards ceremony.


The annual TGT allows young students to enhance their teamwork skills and fuel their passion for math. Having enjoyed participating in the tournament as an elementary school student, event captain Marissa Huang was excited to help host the tournament this year.


“[The most fulfilling part about organizing the TGT is] getting to see all the people collaborating [during] the team round and seeing their excitement on the day of.” Marissa said. “I've learned [about] the key part that communication plays because we just had to email each other a lot and do really deep planning for everything to go right.”


Volunteering for TGT can be just as rewarding as participating. General volunteer Zoey admits to feeling just as inspired by TGT’s fun and competitive spirit as she did when she partook in the event.


“TGT is one of my favorite events of the year because there’s so many students … talking to each other [and bonding over] math,” Zoey said. “It’s an event where you can walk out of it feeling very excited yourself.”


STEAM for All co-president Sophia Chen is another one of the many volunteers who have their own memories of participating in the TGT as an elementary schooler. As she moves on to college next year, Sophia hopes to continue advising STEAM for All.


While STEAM for All provides learning opportunities across various disciplines, math remains a favorite subject among many of our young participants who have become veterans at tournaments like TGT. Jay, a fourth grader who hopes to design rovers for NASA, is participating in his second TGT this year.


“Math has been my favorite subject ever since I was little, and I really wanted to participate in a math tournament just to have some fun,” Jay said. “I studied all year by using one of [OCMC’s] books that I bought last year.”


Aspiring veterinarian and third-grade participant Anne was one of many students who expressed appreciation for the last round of the tournament, which featured group work.


“I decided to participate because I love math, and I love having trophies,” Anne said. “[My favorite part was] the team round.”


STEAM for All’s next large event is the 13th annual New Year's Invitational, which will be held from 12:15-5:00 p.m. on Feb. 4 at Sage Hill High School. Students in grades six through eight may sign up for this free mock MATHCOUNTS tournament through this link. We hope to see you there!


You can check out OCMC’s The Original Collection of Math Contest Problems books on Amazon!

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