Wayland High School’s math team wins the Massachusetts state meet


Credit: Aimee Smith

The Wayland High School math team participates in a state math competition. It won the state meet on April 8, and continued on to compete in and win the New England meet on May 21. Anyone can participate in the math team at the school, and participants do not have to attend every single meeting or competition.

Aimee Smith

Six members of the Wayland math team competed in the Greater Boston Mathematics League competition for the medium school division on April 8, 2022. The team’s hard work during the Massachusetts state meet paid off, earning them first place overall.

Although the state meet is usually held at Shrewsbury Public High School, this year’s competition was moved online due to COVID-19. While there were changes in the competition atmosphere because it was held online, most mathletes were just glad to be competing again.

To many math team members and advisors, the biggest change between the in-person and online competition was the fact that the competition was proctored by each team’s advisors. In previous years, each team’s advisors would be separated from their mathletes and proctor multiple teams in separate rooms. However, since the competition was done virtually this year, advisors were in charge of proctoring their own math teams.

“We [were] just happy that we could compete again, [even though it was virtual],” math team advisor Hannah Marton said. “[The math league] doesn’t count [the state meet results] as official scores because of the chance to cheat. Although, I would be really sad if a teacher let their students cheat. This is all about friendly competition.”

The competition had six total rounds focused on different mathematical subjects, such as algebra, geometry and trigonometry. The competitors worked individually until the last round, during which the math team members solved problems all together.

Although the majority of the competition included individual work, being a part of the math team has given several students an opportunity to connect with others who share a common interest in math.

“[My favorite part of the math team is] being around other people who like math,” junior captain Jeffery Huang said. “Before I joined the math team, I found it hard to find people [who share a similar interest in math].”

The Wayland High School math team gathers together at one of their practices. Members are able to choose when they want to attend practices and competitions, but the practices are a good opportunity to prepare for any competitions students choose to participate in. (Credit: Courtesy of Hannah Marton)

Through connecting with other students who share the same passion for math, the math team is able to support each other and grow intellectually. It is this growth that allowed them to flourish during the state meet, even surpassing the skill levels usually expected of their high school math classes.

“I am much more of a coach than a teacher,” Marton said. “By the time the strongest members are juniors, they really outgrow [my skill level].”

While building a supportive community is important to many members of the math team, the mathletes also put a lot of effort into practicing. This practice is key to preparing for competitions.

“During practices, we [work] on packets and do practice problems from previous segments,” senior captain June Kim said. “Sometimes we practice team rounds, which is the round [during competitions] where a team of five, or six in this case, get together to solve a certain number of problems.”

The competition didn’t end with the state meet for the Wayland High School math team. On Friday, May 21, the mathletes attended the New England competition, which consisted of superior math teams from schools all throughout New England. The New England competition followed a similar online format to the state meet, and the Wayland math team was also victorious during that meet.

While many math team members are happy with their success during the competitions, winning isn’t the only important factor. The community of people with a shared interest is what drives the mathletes to improve.

“[It makes me proud to] watch [the mathletes] enjoying math and celebrating each other’s successes,” Marton said. “[The Wayland math team] is really so wonderful and unique.”