High school teacher Mr. Jaime Escalante teaches his students about negative and positive numbers. He uses a real-world example of digging into sand at the beach to help students understand the concept.
Jerry and Buddy are caught cheating on an algebra quiz and are brought to the principal's office. Intimidated by Buddy, Jerry tells the principal that he cheated off of Buddy when Buddy actually cheated off of him. The principal asks Buddy to solve two quiz problems to determine if Jerry is telling the truth. To Jerry's surprise, Buddy solves the problems correctly.
The CyberSquad's ship needs 40 glows of power to take off. The group learns that Hacker changed the gleamer's power output from six to four, so they use algebra to calculate how many gleamers they'll need to reach the minimum power output of 40 glows. They determine that they'll need 10 gleamers, or three additional gleamers, to take off before the island turns inside out.
Katherine is invited to solve the algebra problem on the board at school and exceeds her teacher's expectations. The teachers encourage her parents to enroll her in a more challenging school because of her precocious abilities in math.