Students from a public school in Nilópolis, in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, won the first three places at the 12th International Mathematics Olympiad, in China.
And it was not the first time they reached the finals of the dispute. In 2019, they were in third place and even won a merit badge for their good performance in the dispute.
The group of students participates in a project by professor Fernando Rocha, who has been encouraging a love for mathematics at Colégio Estadual Marechal Zenóbio da Costa for five years. He even donated a notebook of his for one of the most outstanding students to study.
The teacher meets with students after school hours, during class breaks and even on weekends to study mathematics for the Olympics.
The dedication and effort of all students have already resulted in participation in several competitions and awards.
No internet or computer
One of the most outstanding students is Vitória Camilly Rodrigues, 18 years old. She is in her third year and brought back the gold medal in the math Olympiad from China.
Camilly has always been the great promise of the school and needed a lot of help from Professor Fernando to not give up.
During the pandemic, she had to stop classes. Her mother had lost her job and couldn’t afford to pay for internet or buy a computer or cell phone.
It was the teacher’s help that made the return possible. Fernando donated a notebook that was his and his classmates mobilized to pay for the internet.
For Camilly, participating in these competitions is very important, as it is a way to fight for a better future.
She has a super reason to keep studying and doing her best. “I want a better future for myself and I want to give my mother a better life. And I know I can do it”, explains the student.
Silver and Bronze Medals are also from Brazilians
In addition to Camilly, three more students of Professor Fernando were also victorious in the international mathematics Olympiad. They secured second and third place.
Nicolas Fonseca took the silver and says that mathematics is his great passion. “I look at math and the harder it is, the more interesting it is.”
Besides him, the sisters Lorena and Letícia Guimarães won the bronze medal. For both of them, these victories represent an appreciation of public schools.
“I am very proud to know that I can get wherever I want with my knowledge and to know that my effort is worth it and that Brazilian public education is arriving internationally”, celebrates Lorena.
After the China competition, the students received an invitation to a new competition, this time in London. They are already preparing and want to emerge victorious again.
The medals will also help the four students win university places.
Camilly is already preparing to send the application to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she wants to study astrophysics.
And a hail to Professor Fernando, isn’t it?