Spackenkill High School's blog

Matthew Wu National Merit Scholarship Finalist

The National Merit Scholarship is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, PSAT/NMSQT, a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year.  Congratulations Matthew on being named a finalist in the competition!

Congratulations, Vincent Li!

When Vincent Li looked at the solution key after the January DUSO (Dutchess-Ulster-Sullivan-Orange County mathematics league) meet, he was puzzled by the explanation to one of the questions.  The question involved determining the number of different ways that a set of circles connected by line segments could be colored so that no two connected circles were of the same color.  The answer was given to be 48 but he could only generate 30 different ways.  A check with his teammates reinforced his conviction.  Vincent proceeded to write out a counter-solution as well as to point out the fallacies in the solution key.  His appeal was validated, DUSO officials praised the quality of his work, and the contests will be rescored.  Vincent’s vigilance not only garnered him an additional point in his quest to lead the league, but it also benefited eight of his teammates, each of whom will also gain a point.  

“This is a very unusual occurrence,” his advisor noted.  “The questions are very challenging and it is not unheard of for a team of five students to score a total of 4 out of 30 possible points.  It takes a lot of guts and self-confidence to challenge the gurus who write these questions!”


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