BANGOR — High school students in Maine are invited to participate in the American Mathematics Competitions being held Feb. 8 in Presque Isle, Bangor, Machias, Waterville, Brunswick and Portland.

Home-schooled students and students from public and private schools are invited to participate at no charge. The institutions where the competitions are being held are covering the registration costs for participants.

The competition, put on by the Mathematical Association of America, is the longest running and most prestigious mathematics challenge in the United States, according to Eva Szillery, state director for the competition. The event is the only way for a student to qualify for the USA Mathematical Olympiad. The mission of the competition is to increase interest in mathematics and to develop problem-solving skills through a fun competition.

The AMC 10 covers mathematics normally associated with grades nine and 10 and is for students younger than 17½ who are not enrolled in grades 11 or 12.

The AMC 12 covers high school mathematics and is meant for students in high school younger than 19½.

Students may participate at the most convenient of the following locations:

• Bangor — 4 p.m. in the Commons Building at Husson University.

• Presque Isle — noon at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

• Machias — no time set yet, University of Maine at Machias.

• Brunswick — 4 p.m. at Bowdoin College.

• Portland — 2:30 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine.

• Waterville — no time set yet, Colby College.

Space is limited. For more information or to register, e-mail or call Szillery at or at 356-0207.

Teachers and schools benefit from the chance to challenge students with mathematical questions that are aligned with curriculum standards at all levels of difficulty. In addition, students gain the opportunity to achieve and compare themselves through competition with students from their school and from schools around the U.S., Canada and several other participating countries.