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Female High School Students Compete for Top Math Prize at MIT

girl doing a math problem on the board

The Advantage Testing Foundation was providing high school girls a chance to win thousands of dollars for being math whizzes at MIT this past weekend. More than 250 students participated in the Math Prize for Girls competition on September 27, according a Boston Globe article.

The testing group aims to encourage girls to pursue STEM-related studies and gives out $48,000 in cash prizes to the top 10 winners of the annual contest. The competition pulls students from all over the country who qualify to compete for the grand prizes after completing an exam in the winter.

Celine Liang, 16, took the highest score at the competition — and the top prize of $29,300 — by correctly answering 17 out of the 20 questions. The junior at Saratoga High School in California was stunned. Liang competed in the two previous years, but ‘you don’t exactly come here to win. A lot of people come here just to solve the problems. That’s what math people do, and it’s been great to meet other girls with the same interests.’

According to its website, The Advantage Testing Foundation "is the public-service arm of Advantage Testing, a private tutorial service dedicated to academic rigor and long-term educational development. The mission of the AT Foundation is to advance the academic and professional students of every background by expanding their educational opportunities."

One of the best things about the contest is that a group of girls who are passionate and talented in math get together and get recognized for their abilities. Many participants enjoy the contest itself--independent of the prize money.

“It was intense, but also really fun and creative,” said Zoe Feng, 18, a high school senior in Troy, N.Y.​ to a Globe reporter. "The test requires you to think and approach problems from different angles.”

View a PBS video about the competition.

Read the Boston Globe story or visit the Advantage Testing Foundation website.

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