Emma Goes Clubbing: A look into the WHS math team


Credit: Emma Marton

Members of the WHS math team answer arithmetic questions. The team will compete at the New England Championship Meet on Friday for the first time since 2014.

Emma Marton

The Wayland High School math team travels to other schools to participate and compete in math meets every year. Starting in October, the team generally participates in five meets a year. In October, the WHS Math Team hosted their first meet in six or seven years. The last meet they hosted was in the old WHS building.

“The people who decide where the meets are hosted, the coach’s meetings, they just… never put Wayland on the spot,” teacm coach and math teacher Hannah Marton said. “The first meet used to be in Norwood, but Norwood’s not playing this year.”

Marton’s and her team captains, senior Kanming Xu, senior Alexander Zhong and junior Eileen Chau helped prepare the venue for the meet.

“I have to fill out a building permission form and I have to get [access to] the commons and teacher’s lounge,” Marton said. “I have to make sure there’s enough scrap paper and that the captains are putting out signs. I also buy snacks for the teams.”

The captains’ tasks included setting up tables, carrying the food down and helping set up. They also helped make sure the meet ran smoothly. The Wayland, Framingham, Needham and Wellesley teams participated in the meet.

There are typically two to three teams for WHS: the “A” team, “B” team, and when there are enough students for one, the “C” team. Although the “C” team earns no points, members enjoy being on it, nicknaming it the “C team, dream team.” There are five people per team and five rounds in a meet. Three of the people on the team participate in a particular round to earn up to six points. At the end of the meet, those points are added up. If the number of students exceed the team capacities, the additional students are alternates.

The questions are Greater Boston Math League, or GBML, questions. The questions are aimed to stretch the student’s mathematical knowledge and abilities. There were five different rounds and topics: Arithmetic, Algebra 1: word problems, Algebra 1: exponents and radicals, and Algebra 2: Factoring and Right Triangle Trigonometry.

After these rounds, the members of the teams get together to answer the “team round” problems. Unlike the ten minutes they get for the normal rounds, the team gets twelve minutes. The team round is also worth ten points.

The WHS team meets every week on Tuesdays to prepare for these meets.

“The team practices past meets’ [questions], we run a mock meet and we run a team round every week,” Marton said.

“We practice. We do math problems during all of our waking hours,” Xu said. “So much math, we’re always doing math.”

The WHS team was undefeated last year, but lost at the state meet, which they make almost every year.

“For this meet, I think we’re going to take another W,” Xu said.

Chau and Marton agreed.

“I feel pretty confident; we have a strong team,” Marton said.

The team’s optimism paid off when the Wayland A team won first place and the Wayland B team won second.

“[The win felt] pretty good,” Marton said.

If you want to learn more about the team, how you can join, and what they do, check out the new website about all the clubs here.

Editor’s note: Reporter Emma Marton is a member of math team and she is the daughter of math club coach, Hannah Marton. She submitted this article to WSPN. To submit an article to WSPN, contact editor-in-chiefs Janani Gandhi, Isabel Gitten and Duncan Stephenson.