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2024 AGMT

Empowering Young Girls at the All Girls Math Tournament

Girls in grades 3 to 8 harnessed their mathematical skills at STEAM for All’s annual All Girls Math Tournament.
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Students listened to an engaging guest lecture by Dr. Florea, University of California, Irvine.

STEAM for All held its 15th annual All Girls Math Tournament, a free, mock MATHCOUNTS tournament, for girls in grades three through eight on March 16 at the Quail Hill Community Center.

 

This friendly yet rigorous competition includes two individual rounds and one team round, each testing students’ knowledge, speed and accuracy with a series of challenging math problems. At the end, participants were recognized for their hard work at an awards ceremony.

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Hoping to enhance participants’ experiences, the Orange County Math Circle continued the tradition of inviting a guest speaker to the event this year. After the competition, assistant professor Alexandra Florea from the University of California, Irvine shared her inspiring story about how she navigated the challenges she faced as a woman pursuing a career in mathematics.

 

Florea received her PhD in mathematics from Stanford University and completed her postdoctoral training as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. Her research interests lie in analytic number theory.

“I think the AGMT is a really wonderful event because you get to know people who also like math,” Florea said. “Math is not this lonely activity where you're by yourself all of the time—you can actually share it with other people.”

 

Since its founding, STEAM for All has offered a variety of competitive learning opportunities, including the Thanksgiving Math Tournament and the New Year’s Invitational. These tournaments enable participants to explore STEM disciplines and sharpen their skills in preparation for larger competitions like the AMC 8/10/12 and MATHCOUNTS. At this year’s AGMT, third and fourth graders Maddie, Claire, Hannah, and Hailey won first place in the team round.

 

“To prepare for this tournament, my dad bought A Great Collection of Math Tournament Problems so I could practice different problems,” Hailey said.

 

While contestants like Hailey have had prior experience in the AGMT, STEAM for All welcomes participants with varying levels of experience. After attending a STEAM for All event at the Girl Scouts STEM Expo earlier this year, elementary schooler Rayna decided to sign up for the AGMT.

 

“I participated in the AGMT because it sounded fun, and I wanted to learn more math,” Rayna said. “I recommend this tournament for other students because it teaches you more, and it has some hard questions which can help you in the future.”

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“As someone who did the AGMT and the NYI in middle school, I really wanted to give back to the people who had helped give me that interest in math because I wanted to be a part of that community and help others too,” general volunteer Aadhya Shenoy said. “Today, I was a proctor for students in grades five through six, and a lot of the participants told me they were really amazed at how math can go beyond what they see at school.”

 

For aspiring mathematicians looking to challenge themselves beyond their school curriculums, Florea stresses the importance of finding and maintaining a supportive community.

“You always need a mentor, no matter what stage in your career you're at,” Florea said. “Even when you're a professor, you always have older people who are more senior and that can always give advice.”

 

By providing engaging opportunities across various STEAM fields, STEAM for All continues to further its mission of promoting STEAM education among youth in Orange County and beyond. While the AGMT was our last major tournament of this school year, we are excited to hold more math tournaments in the 24-25 school year!


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

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