Richard competes against an abacus adder in completing math problems quickly and accurately. After he wins, he explains to Arline why using arithmetic gives him an edge as the problems get more complex. He also explains how he computed the cube root of 1,729.03 with greater precision.
Akeelah learns about words' origins, and how, sometimes, big words are really just the combination of smaller words. Along the way, she begins to discover that understanding the context in which a word is used is more valuable than simply memorizing the definition.