Winners Whip Through Puzzles To Take Mental Math Trophies
Washington, D.C., Competition Peaks; Norfolk, Va., and Delaware Competitions Set
April 14, 1997
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Some 200 students from the Washington metropolitan
area strained their brains Monday night in the fifth annual 24
Challenge® Math Program final competition at the Smithsonian
Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
Competing amidst space capsules and moon rocks, the young math marvels
proved they will be ready to lead the next wave of technology. When
it was over, all were winners, but four went home as grand champions
with trophies in hand.
Winners at the annual event, sponsored by Bell Atlantic and the
Council of the Great City Schools, came from Fairfax County, Va., and
Frederick County, Md. To advance to the finals, each of the fourth
through eighth grade participants had to win classroom, school and
county or regional competitions in the fast-paced game.
During the challenge competition, students race to be the first to
add, subtract, multiply or divide four numbers on colorful game cards
and come up with the perpetual answer, 24.
"This was the most intense competition I've seen," said Jim Smith,
director-Bell Atlantic Foundation. "Watching these youngsters apply
mental math, reasoning and logic gives me confidence that a new crop
of technologists is waiting to move the world forward in the next
After three tough rounds of play, winners emerged in four categories:
- Fourth and fifth grades: James Gao, Urbana Elementary School,
- Sixth grade: Kate Reeves, Fort Hunt Elementary School,
- Seventh and eighth grades: Richard Choi, Irving Middle School,
- Platinum edition competition involving fractions and exponents:
Richard Eager, Glasgow Middle School, Alexandria, Va.
The next Bell Atlantic-sponsored competition begins at 10 a.m. April
29 at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. Students in the
Hampton Roads area will have their first opportunity to compete in the
challenge at 10 a.m. May 1 at the Omni Waterside Hotel in Norfolk.
Bell Atlantic also supports the competition in Central Pennsylvania
which will take place later this spring.
The Washington Bullets and the Washington Capitals were honorary
co-chairs of the event.
The 24 Game was invented by Robert Sun of Suntex International, Inc.,
in Easton, Pa. Sun has taken the game to new levels of complexity
with new editions that involve the use of double digits, fractions,
exponents and algebra. For each game card, however, the answer is
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