- by Elisa Young, Edison High School, Class of 2013
The 2nd annual All-Girls Math Tournament was held this past Saturday, April 30th, 2011 by OCMC at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel. After noon, over a hundred girls grades 3 through 8 flooded into the school gym, which was decorated with pink banners and balloons. The girls gradually settled down to tackle the first set of math problems, the individual round. Gathered in groups, many went afterward to browse the variety of mouth-watering treats sold at the snack bar just outside and discuss the challenging set of forty problems.
Soon, time came for the team and relay rounds. Excited, the sound of girls’ chatter and laughter filled every inch of space. From the moment the timer was started until the second the team rounds ended, the girls of each team were concentrating, animatedly sharing ideas, or jumping in joy when they realized they had a solution. A group of girls nearly tore apart half of the pink table covering in their eagerness to work together on the problems, and many other tables’ table coverings were askew. Many girls were confident about their scores. “It was easy!” one of the fourth grade girls exclaimed, smiling.
This year’s guest speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Hagerman, spoke about “Numerical Snapshots” and described her years in school, showing the differences girls brought to the university when it began accepting females instead of solely males. She was very inspiring to all the girls in the crowd as she showed the impacts girls can make in the world. Her message to the girls was clear—no one knows what will happen if no one tries. The encouragement she gave to the girls was priceless.
Ultimately, one should strive to achieve their goals and be proud of their accomplishments. In hope that all the girls who love math will take pride in being female mathematicians, all of us at OCMC are eager to continue to avidly promote mathematics to young females. The change starts NOW.