The Mathematical Association of America has sponsored an annual American Mathematics Competition (AMC) for high school students since 1950, beginning with 6,000 students in 200 New York area schools. Since then, the competition has grown tremendously. Approximately 300,000 high school students across the country compete each year for the high honor of advancing to the United States Mathematical Olympiad and then representing the USA in the International Mathematical Olympiad. Given the number of students involved, MAA has split the high school competition into two divisions. The AMC-10 is open to 10th graders and below and covers algebra and geometry. The AMC-12 (for 12th graders and below) covers mathematics through Precalculus topics. Students solve 25 multiple-choice questions during a two-hour examination, ranging from fairly straightforward operations to extremely challenging geometry and probability questions.

Our mathematics teachers invited top students from the Advanced Functions & Modeling, Precalculus, and Calculus courses to participate this year. These nominees have distinguished themselves through an aptitude and interest in learning advanced math topics and solving novel problems. When asked about their decision to compete, our students shared several reasons. They cited the interesting math problems, a chance for recognition, encouragement from teachers, the camaraderie of peers, and the tasty Oreos and Jolly Ranchers from the “testing fuel table.” Test results will be available at the beginning of January. Then, we will know if any of our students will advance in the competition, qualifying for the American Invitational Mathematics Exam.

PS: Franklin Academy’s test-takers and mathematics teachers smiling for the camera just before last week’s AMC.