You read it right. Math pays, and especially when it comes to math competitions. The 10th annual Math Prize for Girls happened at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts recently, where girls from all over in grades 7 through 12 competed against each other for a top prize of 31 thousand dollars. The Advantage Testing Foundation holds this annual test for girls among other events, as its mission is to “identify and cultivate future leaders of every background.” The Foundation certainly has performed well in the past decade with the Math Prize for Girlsâ€”hundreds of girls show up to test their thinking and analytic abilities. But regardless of the prize money and prestige of such a math competition, the real benefit is boosting girls’ confidence in performing in STEM courses, a demographic that has been shrinking.

The 2.5 hour competition consists of a series of 20 hard math problems that range in all mathematical topics found in high school (Calculus is not included). Afterwards, the scores are calculated and a 2-hour awards ceremony follows, celebrating the winners of the contest.

The Math Prize for Girls math competition is exemplary for the kind of testing we need to perpetuate in the US. It boosts confidence in young women to perform well in STEM courses, promotes positive critical thinking, develops strong relationships between students, prepares the test-takers for a collegiate environment, and gives a strong incentive for girls to prepare for a prestigious national test with hard math problems that excels.

If you’re a student (or a parent with one) interested in developing the proper thinking skills for the next Math Prize for Girls annual test, then stop by our Zoom International Math League website and sign up for a contest. It’s a small step you can take towards advancing your thinking skills. Plus, who wouldn’t want to win 31 thousand dollars?

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