Winners Whip Through Puzzles To Take Mental Math Trophies

Winners Whip Through Puzzles To Take Mental Math Trophies

Washington, D.C., Competition Peaks; Norfolk, Va., and Delaware Competitions Set


April 14, 1997

Media contacts:

Bell Atlantic

Jim Smith




Suntex International

Jill Press




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,

    Urbana, Md.

  • Sixth grade: Kate Reeves, Fort Hunt Elementary School,

    Alexandria, Va.

  • Seventh and eighth grades: Richard Choi, Irving Middle School,

    Springfield, Va.

  • 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

always 24.

Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new

communications, entertainment and information industry. In the

mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local

telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the

largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication

marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in

Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing

high-growth national and international business opportunities in all

phases of the industry.