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Awards Season: Arts, Computing, Mathematics

Kaitlin Resler
This spring, it’s apparent that awards season is upon us! We are honored to be represented by exceptional student work in the visual arts, computer science and mathematics. Five students were accepted into the High School Regional Juried Art Exhibition, and 16 participated in the Media Arts Festival. Five computer science students won Regional Awards for Aspirations in Computing, the highest number of students from Emma to win thus far! Six Emma Willard School students were recently recognized in the top five female students in the American Mathematics Competition.
Arts Awards
The students accepted into the High School Regional Juried Art Exhibition are:

Esme L. ’22
Kayley Y. ’25
Lilith Y. ’24 (Lilith received the Art Center Gallery President’s Award for her painting Autumn Memories)
Pitta T. ’23
Emma D. ’23 (Emma received honorable mention for her piece, Capitalism Found in Food)



The 16 students who appeared in the Media Arts Festival are:

Suki Z. ‘24
Ava S. ‘22
Sophie S. ‘22
Leah W. ‘22
Andrea F. ‘24
Ana R. ‘25 (3rd Place in the Photography: Still Life/Objects/
Interior Space category)
Sravya L. ‘22
Maya J. ‘25 (2nd Place in the Photography: Still Life/Objects/
Interior Space category)
Nina V. ‘24
Mehar S. ‘24
Annie H. ‘24
Chloe Y. ‘25
Kayley Y. ‘25
Miu S. ‘22 (Outstanding Film in the Music Video category)
Esme M. ‘23
Isabel L-C ‘23
 
 




Computing Awards
Each year, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) recognizes students and educators for their accomplishments and goals in computing and technology: “awardees are recognized for their academic excellence, leadership, future goals in computing and technology, and support of women, genderqueer, and non-binary individuals in tech.” 

In February 2022, Emma students Jessica Z.’ 22 and Manu B. ’23 previously earned national awards, but they have now also received regional ones! They are joined by fellow Emma Students:

Sol H. ‘24 - Regional Award Mention
Chelsea Y. ’22 - Regional Winner Award
Robyn W. ‘24 - Regional Winner Award

Computer Science and Mathematics Instructor Chiara Shah has been nominating exceptional students for Aspirations awards since 2014, and has shared the citations she wrote for these students to nominate them: 

Sol H. ‘24

I have known Sol for five years, since they are the child of one of the Math teachers in my department. I know that they’ve been interested in technology, math, and science for many years. They were in Science Olympiad in middle school, and their mom kept telling me that Sol will definitely be joining robotics club, which I advise, when they become a student at Emma.
 
Last year was Sol’s ninth grade year, but due to COVID, we did not have robotics (students can’t build robots because they can’t get close to each other or share tools). Instead, I switched the club’s focus to coding and coding competitions. Sol was eager to participate, and I was thrilled in the fall when we discovered that Sol had earned the highest score in the state of NY in the Bebras Computing Challenge, for the Cadet division (ages 12-14).  Sol also participated in the ACSL (American Computer Science League’s) contests, which occur four times per year.
 
Over the summer, Sol asked me for recommendations for coding websites and practice. I enrolled them in several modules at codehs.com, including Coding Explorations in Art.
 
This year, Sol is continuing to participate in our coding club. Today, they took the Bebras test, and I am excited to see how they do this year.
 
Finally, Sol is enrolled in my AS Computer Science Principles course this spring. I am excited to teach them more about CS! 

Chelsea Y. ‘24

I am so impressed with how much Chelsea has achieved since I first saw the quiet ninth grader sitting in the Saturday morning workshop during World Processing Day. “Processing” is a dialect of the Java programming language that allows artists and scientists to create changing art, visualizations, and simulations. Chelsea, at the time, was an artist interested in exploring the intersection of code and art.
That workshop inspired her to enroll in my AP Computer Science A course as a sophomore. Few sophomores take this course, and I was impressed with her dedication to it. She came to me every week with a seemingly endless list of questions she had prepared ahead of time.To her,grades were not the focus. The learning was. So much so, that by the middle of the school year, she had decided to complete an independent study called STEAM-10 and her culminating project was an interactive visualization using cosine graphs and mouse movements. Her goal was to create art that looked and moved like water, connecting her interest in water conservation with art and code.

Chelsea has now completed more Computer Science projects, internships, and workshops in the last year or so than some students do in several years of college. She has refined her interests and begun serious work in the area of User Interface (UX) Design.

Her most impressive endeavor, to me, was when she spent last spring teaching freshmen in our STEAM-9 program how to create Processing visualizations. The projects that she helped students create were sophisticated, interesting, and creative.

Watching Chelsea progress from a freshman art student curious about combining coding and art to a confident senior giving back her skills to new incoming freshmen has been one of my highlights in my four years at Emma!
 
Robyn W. ’24

Robyn was a freshman last year when I started a new club at my school. The goal of the club was to enable students to learn CS topics and compete in coding competitions. Each week we met virtually, because of COVID, and we competed in two CS competitions: The Bebras Computing Challenge and ACSL (American Computer Science League).
 
Robyn competed in all four of the ACSL contests last year, missing qualifying for the finals by just one point. In the Bebras Challenge, he earned the second highest score in our school in the Junior Division.
 
This year, Robyn is enrolled in my AP CS A course, learning to code in the Java coding language. In order to place into this intermediate level course, Robyn had to self-study introductory Java over the summer. I shared handouts and videos with him, and he successfully completed the introductory material necessary for enrollment in the course. He is consistently earning perfect scores on all assessments in the course, an amazing feat considering that he is just a sophomore. He is easily the top student in the course.
 
Robyn pays careful attention to detail in class and often points out errors in my answer keys and lessons. Robyn tells me it’s been challenging to learn a language with typed variables, as he is used to Python and not having to worry about types. He is excelling, however, and recently asked for more materials to learn how to combine HTML, CSS, and Java. I give him my highest recommendation!


Mathematics Awards
Every year the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) writes and administers the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) to over 300,000 students in about 4,000 schools in the USA and Canada. There are two levels of the competition (the AMC 10, open to students in 10th grade and under, and the AMC 12, open to students in 12th grade and under). Each is given on two dates (called the A date and the B date) and students may take one competition on each date.
 
Each year, MAA recognizes the top five highest-scoring female students in each of its 29 regions. (Our region, the Seaway region, comprises Ontario, Quebec, and New York outside the NYC/Westchester metro area.) We are excited to announce the following students who achieved top five scores: 
  • AMC 10A: Isabella H. ’25
  • AMC 12A: Lillian L. ’22 and Teresa Z. ’23
  • AMC 10B: Isabella H. ’25, Chloe Y. ’25, and Portia H. ’24
  • AMC 12B: Teresa Z. ’23 and Stella L. ’23
Mathematics Instructor Alexandra Schmidt shares, “Out of the 22 top scores (accommodating tied scores) in our region, eight belonged to Emma students! This is extraordinary for a 350-student high school.”
 
All of the students recognized are active members of the Albany Area Math Circle and take part in EWS math recreations such as New York Math League.


Please join Emma Willard School in congratulating our artists and scholars for these impressive honors!

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