USC middle school students advance to state math competition
Sixth grader Keshav Narasimhan and seventh grader Daniel Wang advanced to the statewide 24 Challenge competition for their performance at the regional competition on May 11, 2017, at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
Keshav finished first in the sixth grade division and Daniel took first place in the 7/8 division. The Pennsylvania State 24 Challenge Math Tournament
will be held on June 14 in the Keystone Building Atrium in Harrisburg. Keshav and Daniel will compete against the top finishers from more than 20 intermediate units from throughout the commonwealth.
The 24 Challenge is a math card game in which the objective is to find a way to manipulate four integers so that the end result is 24. The beginning version of the game uses four single-digit numbers. As students gain skill, the game is played with double-digit numbers, exponents, integers, fractions and even variables.
More than 100 students in grades four through eight from Allegheny County competed at the AIU’s regional competition. The top three at each grade division qualified to advance to the state-level competition.
In addition to Keshav and Daniel, the following Upper St. Clair middle school students competed at the regional competition:
- Boyce Middle School: Libby Eannarino, Qadir Khan and Shubham Patel
- Fort Couch Middle School: Jay Vakil and Aidan Houck
Boyce students were coached by Kathleen Hoedeman, math resource teacher. Fort Couch students were coached by Andy Lucas, seventh grade math teacher, and assisted by Connie Gibson, gifted coordinator.
“Those who are familiar with the game 24 might be interested to know that only one of the four rounds is played with the very familiar single digit cards,” Mrs. Hoedeman said. “The second round uses only double-digit cards and the final rounds use only variable cards, two wheels to be solved each sharing a missing number. The player must solve for the missing variable and then give the solution to both wheels…not an easy task! Especially in the very last round, where four wheels are presented at one time!”
In addition to the regional 24 Challenge competition, several Upper St. Clair students successfully competed in the local South Hills Tournament on May 5, 2017, at West Jefferson Hills School District.
Sixth graders Keshav Narasimhan and Carter McClintock-Comeaux finished first and second respectively in their grade level.
Approximately 80 students in grades four through eight from various schools in the South Hills competed in the event. In addition to Keshave and Carter, the following Boyce students participated in the math competition:
- Fifth grade: Libby Eannarino, Peter Engel, Shubham Patel, Aniketh Vivekenandan and Garrett Ziegler
- Sixth grade: David Goldberg and Alex Todd
Boyce conducted preliminary rounds in all 24 homerooms. Each homeroom sent a “champion” to the all-school competition where the top competitors in both fifth and sixth grades were determined.
Top Photo (Regional AIU Tournament): Libby Eannarino, Shubham Patel, Aidan Houck, Keshav Narasimhan, Daniel Wang, Qadir Khan and Jay Vakil.
Bottom Photo (South Hills Tournament): Aniketh Vivekanandan, Shubham Patel, David Goldberg, Alex Todd, Keshav Narasimhan, Carter McClintock-Comeaux, Garrett Ziegler, Peter Engel and Libby Eannarino