Miss Stem: Summary for the Summer


Before we embark on our summer adventures, I would like to acknowledge some of the accomplishments our Hockadaisies have had over the year. Every day I come to school, I am amazed at all that Hockaday students can achieve.

I began this school year with Miss STEM post listing a series of “firsts” in mathematics. Here are two interesting “lasts” to wrap up the year, although these are truly “last known so far.”

  • The last, largest prime number known: 2^57,885,161 – 1
  • The number of digits in the last known perfect number: 44,677,235

USA Physics Olympiad

On Jan. 17, 2017, I took the F=ma exam, which is the qualifying exam for the United States of America Physics Olympiad (USAPHO). By earning a very high score on the F=ma exam, I am very excited to say that I have qualified for the 2017 USAPHO. On April 6, I participated in the USAPHO, which is a three-hour calculus-based test covering topics ranging from mechanics to waves to nuclear and atomic physics to relativity to electricity and magnetism. This was a truly rewarding and challenging experience, and I am so grateful for the wonderful Hockaday science teachers for helping me reach this level.


On Feb. 16, 2017, Hockaday students competed in the regional Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science Competition (TEAMS) at the University of Texas at Dallas. This year, I was the Captain of the Hockaday teams, and I am happy to say that we had amazing results! We brought 3 teams to regional TEAMS: 11/12 A Team (Kaleigh Beacham, Elizabeth Guo, Wendy Ho, Christine Ji, Lin Lee, Mira Mehta, Sharon Zhang); 11/12 B Team (Cynthia Ji, Amanda Jin, Elaine Nguyen, Elise Nguyen, Angela Shi, Emma Shore, Jennifer Wang); and 9/10 Team (Hope Fu, Nirvana Khan, Tanvi Kongara, Madeline Petrikas, Cathy Ma, Clara Shi).

Before the competition, each of our three teams prepared an essay with the goal “to identify a source of renewable energy to generate power for your home state within the next five years.” Then, on the competition day, each team took an 80-question multiple choice test and then participated in a hands-on design-build task, in which we were to build a “robotic arm” which could lift a water bottle from one end of the table to another.

The 11/12 A Team won 1st place in the state of Texas, and the 11/12 B Team won 6th place in Texas. Both teams have qualified for the National level of competition. This is the third year in a row that Hockaday TEAMS has qualified for Nationals!

Dallas Teen Science Café

On April 23, 2017, the Dallas Teen Science Café held its fourth event of the year at the Dallas Zoo featuring Professor Ranganathan of UT Southwestern, whose talk was titled “Let’s March for Science.” (To learn more about the Dallas Teen Science Café, please read this blog post: https://hockadayfourcast.org/miss-stem-a-fast-forwarded-beginning/). We loved hearing Professor Ranganathan speak about how Jurassic Park illustrates chaos theory and how the mystery of life holds so many complexities. For example, while there are quantitative laws that govern physics (F=ma) and chemistry (PV=nRT), we still have yet to discover such quantitative laws that govern the behavior of living, breathing beings.

Stay tuned for more HockaSTEM updates, and have a great summer!

Elizabeth Guo – Managing Editor