Team members were Emma Ballentine, Yuxin He, Claire Lokken, Anna Lutz, Megha Patel, Trevor Simmons, Lauren Steingrebe and Samantha Tracy. Of that group, sophomore Yuxin and juniors Megha, Trevor, Lauren and Samantha are now headed to state competition in April.
The top-scoring student on Cape's team was Trevor. He's also the only boy on the team.
One team member explained Trevor's success saying he is "naturally good at math." That would appear to support an often-repeated idea that boys are inherently better than girls when it comes to math.
But even Trevor credits his success not with talent, but with the team's advanced placement calculus class. "It's what prepared me the most," he said.
Many research hours have been devoted to discovering whether boys are naturally better at math than girls and if so, why – questions that are proving difficult to answer. As Cape's math team shows, as more girls take advanced math, they are demonstrating they are just as proficient as their male counterparts and it's clear they enjoy tackling tough math questions.
This team has also shown that practice and learning from mistakes are just as important in math as in any other endeavor.
One Cape math teacher said there's now a strong presence of girls in Cape's advanced math classes; the number of girls on the team matches what's happening in classrooms, the teacher said.
That's good news for young women, and it's good news for all of us. High math achievement is correlated with high earnings over a lifetime, so the increasing number of girls who pursue higher math bodes well – not just for the young women themselves, but also because they are likely to use their skills to contribute to a strong, vibrant economy.
Kudos to the Math League team and to the staff and students at Cape who are showing the way to a bright future.