USC student among top 16 in state math contest
Upper St. Clair sixth grader Keshav Narasimhan earned a silver medal for reaching the semifinals at the statewide 24 Challenge Tournament on June 14, 2017, in Harrisburg, Penn.
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 145 students in grades four through eight representing 29 intermediate units from throughout Pennsylvania competed in the event. The event is organized into three grade level divisions: fourth and fifth graders; sixth graders; and seventh and eighth graders.
In the sixth grade division, nearly 50 participants competed in two preliminary rounds, which included single, double digit and variable cards. The top 16 scorers – including Keshav – qualified for the semifinals and faced off in groups of four to determine the four finalists. Each of the four finalists received a gold medal and the state champion earned a trophy.
Daniel Wang, a seventh grader from Fort Couch, also qualified to participate at the state tournament. Keshav and Daniel advanced to the statewide 24 Challenge competition after finishing first in their respective divisions at the regional level on May 11, 2017, at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. 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.
Students at the state competition had the opportunity to meet and interact with Robert Sun, the creator of the 24 card game, who encouraged them to pursue their dreams.
“For serious 24 players (and geeks, like me!), meeting Robert Sun, the creator of the game, is a real thrill,” Mrs. Kathy Hoedeman, Boyce Middle School math resource teacher, said. “I met him several years ago at a conference where he chatted with me about his passion for getting kids to enjoy mathematics and, for me, it was as exciting as meeting a movie star!”