Four young women have just returned from the 2016 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad, held in Busteni, Romania, where they won two medals in a seven-day competition that brought together 145 students from 39 countries.
Olga Medrano Martín del Campo, 17, won a gold medal, Mexico’s first since it began participating in the event two years ago. Alka Earathu, also 17, won silver.
The competition is a relatively new one. Founded in 2012 by British mathematics professor Geoff Smith, it was intended to encourage more girls to participate in international math competitions, where the proportion of girls is very low.
At the International Math Olympiad, for example, only one in 10 contestants is female. Last year’s winner was Team USA; it had no female participants.
The European Girls’ Olympiad is catching on: it grew this year to 39 teams from last year’s 30.
In robotics, meanwhile, which is also dominated by males, the Veracruz technology institute TecNM team once again had an outstanding performance, bringing home five medals after competing in the 2016 RoboGames, considered the Olympics of robotics by experts in the field.
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