Press release from Alachua County Public Schools
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two Buchholz High School students are among just 35 in the nation still in the running for the Math Prize for Girls, a prestigious annual competition for female high school students in the United States and Canada.
According to the competition’s website, “the goal of the competition is to encourage young high school women with unparalleled potential to pursue a college degree in STEM before eventually becoming scientific and mathematical leaders.”
Juniors Hailey Lin and Kelsey Morey are now awaiting the results of a rigorous exam they took last week. Their results are expected to be released by the end of December.
The Math Prize for Girls, sponsored by the Advantage Testing Foundation, offers cash prizes ranging from $1000 for the 6th-10th place winners to $25,000 for the first prize.
Three hundred promising female high school students are selected to participate in the competition process each year based on their performance on challenging AMC (American Math Competitions) exams. This year, six Buchholz High students were invited to participate, including Lin, Morey, and fellow students Himal Bamzai-Wokhlu, Katie He, Melissa Li, and Nicole Qian.
They and the other top performers then traveled to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston in November for a 2½-hour-long testing session. Lin and Morey were among the top 35 scorers on that exam. Only one other student in Florida earned that distinction. Their performance qualified them to move on to the highest level of competition, the Math Prize for Girls Olympiad, which was held December 2 and involved a grueling four-hour, four-problem proof competition.
All six of the Buchholz students who participated in this year’s Math Prize for Girls competition are members of Buchholz’s national championship math team.
Jennifer Frazer, a math team sponsor, says she feels fortunate to be able to spend time with and get to know these students.
“They are amazing,” she said. “They are incredibly talented, work extremely hard, and perform at the highest levels academically. They are also heavily involved in various extra-curricular activities as well as community and school service. Best of all, they are terrific people.”