Girls lead charge in annual math tournament

A total of around 200 girls participated in the seventh annual All Girls Math Tournament (AGMT) at St. Anne Schoo on Sunday, April 24l, joining four additional regional locations last Sunday.


Hosted by Orange County Math Circle, a non-profit, student run-organization, girls ranging from third to eighth grade competed in individual and team rounds centered around the role of females in the field of mathematics.


“I think you have a very small window to get the attention of girls in math,” Volunteer Dr. Koren Ikeda-Takata said. “By high school it's too late, and certainly by college it is too late. Even if they get involved with other things throughout high school, the early exposure to math will give them the courage to continue later. At the end of the day you want [these students] to have options, and you do not want them to have regrets.” 


Joining the St. Anne site, San Diego has returned for its second year of hosting a satellite location for the All Girls Math Tournament. However, AGMT additionally welcomed Cupertino, Cypress and Las Vegas for their first year as satellites as the program takes a stride forward in becoming a national event.


“I knew how in highschool, like the Harvard MIT math tournament, there are very few girls participating, and I knew it was a really real problem,” Michelle Chen said. “I appreciated what the All-Girls Math tournament was doing, but I thought that it could expand a lot more because there was just one location in Laguna Niguel. So this year, we kept on expanding and contacting more people so now we have four satellites. When I go to the east coast, I hope I can contact alumni from Math for Service to see if they can create a satellite tournament there.”


This year’s tournament director, freshman Natalie Yee from St. Margaret's Episcopal School, attended the event herself dating back to third grade. Last year, she placed second in the eighth grade division for the individual round and her team placed first in the seventh and eighth grade division.


“When I was participating in the All Girls Math Tournament, I really enjoyed the fact that it showed that math could be fun and I loved math as well,” Yee said. “Ever since I participated in it, I have wanted to volunteer for Orange County Math Circle and run the tournaments to give back to my community and give more girls the same opportunity.”


This year Dr. Wanda Claro, the event’s keynote speaker, led a talk on how through orthodontics, the world of math is still prevalent.


“Dentists use math everyday,” Claro said. “We use it so well that we do not even think about it and it justs becomes intuitive. Math is the key, no matter what profession anyone takes in the future.”


Results for the individual and team rounds for each division can be viewed by the public at


“We need to make sure that more females are represented in STEM fields,” Yee said. “A good way to promote that message is through this tournament.”

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