24 Challenge competition

Corry Area Intermediate School math teacher Nathan Bailey holds up a Challenge 24 card Monday night to show members of the Corry Area School Board. A group of intermediate school students recently competed at a regional 24 Challenge math event and brought home three medals. Demonstrating how to play the game are students, from left, Jeremy Saurwein, Emma Smith and Will Boucher.

Two silver and one bronze medal were brought home by a group of Corry Area Intermediate School students after a 24 Challenge regional math competition recently held in Edinboro.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students competed against 22 area school districts — for a total of 75 students — during the competition, which challenged students to use combinations of numbers to equal the sum of 24.

"The kids have had a lot of fun and this really does help them with their mental math skills," said Nathan Bailey, a fourth-grade math teacher and co-adviser of the CAIS Challenge 24 Club. "This helps their mental math facts, communications skills and problem solving."

Bailey, along with club co-adviser Stacie Smith, a fifth grade math teacher at CAIS, with the help of three Challenge 24 Club students, showed members of the Corry Area School Board on Monday night just how the game works.

Emma Smith, fourth grade; Jeremy Saurwein, fifth grade; and Will Boucher, fifth-grade; played a round of Challenge 24 for the board and audience members.

Using a stack of cards, each containing four combinations of numbers, the goal is to figure out how to use those numbers to equal the sum of 24 through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The first students to figure out the combination and explain how they used the numbers to achieve 24 earns points.

"This is all mental math," said Bailey, who added the club is in its second year at CAIS. "There is no paper, no pencils and no calculators. They have to do all the work in their head."

Challenge 24 Club meets after school on Mondays for about 40 students.

Emma Smith, Jeremy Saurwein, Will Boucher and fourth-grader Hunter LaSalvia attended the recent regional competition. 

Silver medals were won by Saurwein and Boucher, and a bronze medal was won by LaSalvia. 

Four other club members attended the competition, but did not compete as they were there to observe how the event is held.

"It's a fun club for kids who love math and it makes a game out of it," Bailey said. 

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