Ninety minutes a day is the time that Emiliano Gómez from the IPAC dedicates to his academic training prior to the European Mathematical Tournament (European Math Tournament), which will be from March 1 to 7, and in which he will represent Ecuador with four young people in the city of Minsk, in Belarus.
“Every day, in my house, I solve problems of previous competitions that I find on the web, I always repeat those that do not come out, that for me is the best way to train”, says excited.
Violeta Gómez, of the Logos school, also integrates the team. She belongs to the institution’s math club, which she attends every day as part of her training to reinforce the study of geometry and algebra.
“I do not feel that my study program is strong because I enjoy solving mathematical exercises, I see them as a challenge,” she says.
Another member is Natasha Valarezo, of the Santa Luisa de Marillac Educational Unit, for whom it has not been easy, since the institution does not have the academic support of ex-Olympians. “My OMEC and APOL math teacher and APOL help me with books full of exercises,” she says.
Natasha recently received recognition from the Welfare Board of Guayaquil for her academic achievements.
The selection is also made up of Jahír Cajas, from the Educational Unit of the Pacific, in Machala; and Kevin Rojas, from the Borja Private Educational Unit of Cuenca.
Fernando Álvarez, president of the Ecuadorian Mathematical Olympiad (OMEC), organizer of all the mathematical competitions at the national level, explains that prior to the international competitions a national Olympiad is made from which the students who represent Ecuador outside the country are selected.
Each championship is open to private and public schools, aimed at high school students.
Out of a total of 1,500 young people participating in the National Olympiad, only 10% are students of public schools. So far none has won the Olympiad, or quotas to represent the country internationally.
“The low participation is due to the fear of failure. Some professors and institutions feel evaluated when their students participate in this type of competition and fear that there are negative results that harm their reputation, “Álvarez explains.
“It has happened to us that professors ask us to lower the level of difficulty of the tournament so they can obtain better results and that is something we cannot do,” he adds.
Those who achieve medals in these championships have the possibility of obtaining full scholarships in universities around the world for careers related to pure sciences.
Those selected receive training before each competition from the OMEC, which is taught by ex-Olympians and lasts between one and two weeks. Since the quartet is made up of students from different cities, the training was virtual.
The expenses of the trip are covered mainly by the parents of family, in some cases they contribute the schools.
In the case of Natasha, the U.E. Santa Luisa de Marillac, to which she belongs, does not have the resources to help her in her own right, so she got support from the Charity Board, which in turn made a call to companies that could contribute with donations. (I)