Math Team Celebrates First-Ever Perfect Score in League Competition

by Dylan Santucci, Reporter, Warrior Update

AURORA – Waubonsie Valley’s math team celebrated its
first ever perfect score for a Warrior in North Suburban Math League competition.

Junior Jacki Li received a perfect score in a math league competition. (photo credit / WVTV)

Junior Jackie Li scored a perfect 25. Math team competitions consist of tests, five
questions on each test with topics at different grade levels. The perfect score was a surprise even to Li.

“All the answer choices are like free like response questions,” said Li, “so I was just really surprised because I did four of the questions and then I just completely guessed on the fifth question, and then somehow I just got it.”

“So he might have said that he guessed on the fifth question, which is true,” said math team advisor Steve Spinelli, “but considering the answer could have been anything from zero to one, and there are infinite numbers from zero to one, for him to guess correctly 1/16 is really impressive.”

“He had an idea geometrically of how this problem looked. It was a probability question and to assume
the denominator was 16 and to then guess the numerator is one, he could have guessed anything
in the world.”

“This is our third year in NSML, first perfect paper. It was like ‘hey, we gotta celebrate this’ because 25s are hard to come by.”

“I think they enjoy the challenge, so this is an opportunity to try problems they’re going to stretch their brain a little bit more, and I think really appreciate the beauty of math because we’re looking more for patterns. A lot of math class is procedural and our kids, they get in the zone. They know how to solve this problem. So it’s a puzzle and they’re going to explore numbers in a different way, and they’ll really appreciate the numbers that we’ve learned how to count on our fingers.”

Math team meets Mondays after school and Thursdays before school in room 250.