Students from Sandburg Elementary rank 9th in World Math Day

Sandburg Elementary kids holding their World Math Day certificates. A second-grade class at Carl Sandburg Elementary recently finished 9th in the world in the annual UNICEF World Math Day competition.


The event pitted Jennifer Via’s 23 students, nicknamed the Smart Cookies, in an online competition against students around the globe. On World Math Day, March 6, students completed 50 one-minute rounds, giving 22,957 correct answers.


During practice for the competition, the class correctly answered 139,237 problems and showed an overall improvement of 213 percent.


Liam Shalom answered the most problems, getting 1,823 correct answers. The team’s most improved students (from day one of practice to World Math Day) were Kylee Wasdin (700% improvement), Audrey Yount (645% improvement) and Evan Soltani (579% improvement). Erick Jaimes was the most improved student on World Math Day alone.


During the one-minute rounds, the class had some record high scores too.  Nima Nabaie had 62 correct in one minute.  Joy Haltom had 58.


The competition generated a total of more than 292 million correct answers worldwide.


The No. 1 and No. 3 classrooms in the competition were from the same elementary school in Turkey. Three classrooms from Malaysia, one from England and one from the Dominican Republic also ranked high. A classroom from Irvington, N.Y., was No. 6 -- the only U.S. team to outrank the Sandburg Smart Cookies. A class from India rounded out the top 10.


The competition’s website,, lists the top 50 placeholders in classroom age groups 4-7, 8-10, 11-13 and 14-18, along with the top 100 individual competitors.


The Smart Cookies celebrated their win with an ice-cream party last Friday (April 26), and they’ll be eagerly watching their mail: The top 10 teams in each age group receive a trophy.