A Perfect Score for MLC School Girls in Top Mathematics Competition

Two Year 8 MLC School girls, Dalia Alsaad and Erica Chou, have achieved 100% in the 2019 Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) competition.

The one-hour problem-solving competition run by the Australian Maths Trust (AMT) helps identify students who have the capacity to think algorithmically and who would make very good computer programmers.

Mr Mike Clapper, chief mathematician for the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT), said ‘A perfect score or even close to a perfect score is a great achievement. I would strongly encourage these girls to now learn a programming language.’

Mr Clapper believes it is important for all students to develop their problem-solving skills as far as they can because they are transferable skills which find application in many fields and can open up pathways that students may not even realise exist. He admits that these pathways are still dominated by males.

According to a 2017 UNESCO report, ‘Too many girls are held back by discrimination, biases, social norms and expectations that influence the quality of education they receive and the subjects they study’.

The AMT has been endeavouring to provide pathways for girls to succeed in Mathematics and Informatics, such as the recent initiative to send a team to European Girls Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) in the Ukraine. MLC School Year 12 student, Vicky Feng, was one of four girls chosen as a team member. The team placed 14th out of 50 countries, which was an outstanding achievement.

MLC School Principal, Ms Lisa Moloney commented, ‘We are immensely proud of Erica and Dalia’s achievement. As the demand for technology and innovation increases, so will the demand for Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations. “We encourage our girls to ‘dare to be more’ by exploring these subjects during their time at school and hopefully their interest will transition to STEM related careers, increasing the representation of women in these male-dominated areas.’

Photo: (Left to Right) Dalia Alsaad (Year 8), Mr Mike Clapper, Erica Chou (Year 8)