The Summer Explorations and Research Collaborations for High School Girls (SEARCH) Program, held annually since 2004 at Mount Holyoke College in the US, was created for talented high school girls to explore mathematics beyond that taught in high school. Our study, which focuses on factors that facilitate or inhibit the pursuit of higher level mathematics by girls, is centered on the 2006 SEARCH Program. We present a combination of qualitative and quantitative data drawn from student journals written during SEARCH, program evaluations written at the end of SEARCH, post-program interviews, and comparisons with two peer group samples. From this data we point to important factors, such as developing a mathematical voice, gaining a broader view of advanced mathematics, being challenged in a supportive atmosphere, and having a positive stance toward risk-taking, that may help to maintain the interest of talented girls in advanced mathematical studies.
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