High School Math Champion has all the Answers

Lulu Shih has loved math since before she started school.

Now a Grade 9 student at Western Academy of Beijing and a four-year member of WAB's math club, Lulu has has developed an impressive portfolio of regional and international math awards:

So what's her secret?

Lulu's success in math, she said, is due to her true enjoyment of solving problems and her teachers' willingness to support her one-on-one outside the classroom so she can push herself to continue learning.

When she's not studying, Lulu uses her free time to continue exploring what she calls "extra fun math," and her teachers are helping her continue to develop her skills.

"At the start of Grade 6, Ms. Habel recommended that I take part in the AMC 8 and Gauss 7, which was the first time I took part in math competitions," Lulu recalled. The contests were exactly the challenge she needed to inspire greater achievement.

Gerda van Petersen, Lulu's Grade 8 Extended Math teacher at WAB, praises Lulu for her dedication and determination as a student of the subject – but also sees her as the type of pupil who goes beyond just learning "how" to solve problems.

"Lulu is inquisitive and wants to know the answer to the critical question, 'Why?' Understanding the reasoning behind math is crucial to developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the subject," she said, remembering a day when Lulu would not leave math club until they had filled three white boards with work to solve a single problem. "She is so driven to solve difficult problems, which shows Lulu's dedication and makes her the exceptional student that she is."

As part of our school's commitment to serving the needs of every student, WAB teachers and faculty strive to individualize instruction so that each can reach their full potential. Further, opportunities abound for students to continue pursuing their passions outside of the classroom by joining clubs, taking extra classes and mentoring their peers.

Read more inspiring stories of math student success at WAB here.