YCIS student Esther Leung with her Gold Award.


Math was never 10 year old Esther Leung’s strongest subject. While she maintained a solid B, Esther was intimidated in all things arithmetic

Then she and her family moved to Shanghai where the Year 5 student enrolled in Yew Chung International School (YCIS) and logged onto Mathletics for the first time. She was hooked.

“It was very challenging for me,” Esther says. But that challenge soon moved from intimidation to confidence – a word often used about Leung these days.

“She’s not a very confident child [but] her confidence has grown and her ability has grown,” says Heather Lockett, YCIS’s curriculum coordinator.

When World Maths Day (WMD) came around, Leung was one of two students chosen to promote the day as Mathletics Ambassadors for China. As part of her duties, Esther visited her classmates to promote a school-wide campaign in which students were encouraged to log on to Mathletics and answer as many problems as they could in 48 hours.

Receiving this honor was a little surprising for Leung even though she had already won four trophies at her school’s weekly Mathletics awards. “I thought if I tried hard enough, I might win, but then I didn’t have very much confidence,” she says, admitting to some self doubt.

But that doubt began and ended with her. Esther’s mother says the combination of Mathletics and the school’s weekly awards encouraged her daughter to set personal goals for herself and to excel beyond them. And Lockett says Leung was chosen as ambassador for two reasons: her enthusiasm and her improvement levels.

When asked what the future might hold, Esther says she isn’t aiming to be the next Einstein, but she does see math in her future. “Maybe an architect – good in math and artistic and creative. Or a chocolatier who [uses] math for business and I can design my own shop!”