NCSSM students to compete in top science competition

Artwork on the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) campus.
Artwork on the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) campus.

Five students from the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics have won a top spot in a major national math competition.

The students – Angela Deng, Evan Jiang, Dory Li, Miguel de los Reyes and Lucy Wu of NCSSM – have advanced to the finals in the popular Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge.

The competition is the only one of its kind and drew more than 5,100 11th-and 12th-grade participants from across the nation this year.

The Durham team will travel to New York City on Monday, April 24 to compete against five other finalist teams at Moody’s Corporation World Trade Center headquarters.

Using mathematical modeling, the students had 14 hours in late February to come up with a solution to a real-world issue — helping the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) devise a plan for future growth and sustainability in spite of global change factors expected to affect both resources and visits at its 417 national sites country wide.

More than 1,100 participating teams from across the U.S. submitted papers detailing their recommended solutions.

Organized by Philadelphia-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and sponsored by The Moody’s Foundation, the M3 Challenge spotlights applied mathematics as a powerful problem-solving tool and motivates students to consider further education and careers in math and science.

Approximately 90 scholarship prizes totaling $150,000 are up for grabs, with the champion team receiving $20,000.

In addition to NCSSM, the five other finalist teams hail from high schools in Alpharetta, Georgia, Lincolnshire, Illinois, Lincroft, New Jersey, Silver Spring, Maryland and Westford, Massachusetts.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645