Baltimore County “mathletes” compete in the 11th annual M&T Bank 24 Challenge® math tournament - 3/16/07
|Superintendent Dr. Joe A. Hairston and August Chiasera, president of M&T Bank’s Greater Baltimore Region.|
Washing the car, sleeping in late, wandering the mall….all the typical Saturday morning activities had to wait as hundreds of family members, along with teachers and principals, chose instead to sit silently in hotel ballrooms, watching and listening intently as students participated in the 11th annual M&T Bank 24 Challenge® Math Tournament. This year the tournament was held on March 10 at the Holiday Inn Select Timonium.
Seventy-one elementary school students from 70 schools and 76 middle school students from 12 schools competed for trophies, U.S. Savings Bonds, and the coveted title of Grand Champion in four divisions of play (one elementary division and three middle school divisions).
The centerpiece of the tournament is a fast-paced math game called 24®. Developed by Suntex International, Inc., the flashcard-style math game is designed to improve skills in mental computation, pattern recognition, and deductive reasoning. Each card presents four numbers that can be combined to total 24. The challenge is to determine what combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division of whole numbers, fractions, or integers will yield that solution.
|Superintendent Hairston and August Chiasera, president of M&T Bank’s Greater Baltimore Region, visit Woodholme Elementary for a 24 Challenge® preview.|
While her mother hid behind a newspaper, too anxious to watch, and while her father stood, eyes fixed on the game, silently cheering from the sidelines, Emily S. of Summit Park Elementary School confidently answered question after question to win the elementary championship.
In the ballroom next door, the families and friends of Anna Marie S. of Ridgely Middle School, and Taryn Q. and Maia M. both of Hereford Middle School celebrated their wins as 24® Challenge champions.
M&T Bank, sole corporate sponsor of this mathematics initiative in the Baltimore County Public Schools, provided the math games and supporting materials used in the classroom, and funded this annual spring tournament. Local school winners in each division receive $50 savings bonds, and tournament Grand Champions are awarded $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds.
|The M&T Bank 24 Challenge® Grand Champions for 2007|
Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Joe A. Hairston, said "By sponsoring the 24 Challenge®, M&T Bank supports Baltimore County Public Schools in inspiring young students to excel in mathematics and to develop as overall scholars. The 24 Challenge® strengthens students' study skills, helps them develop poise and confidence, and invites the community to celebrate young people for their academic achievements. We are so pleased that each year, with M&T Bank’s support, the program continues to grow in our schools and to have a higher profile in our community."
“We are pleased to sponsor the 24 Challenge® Math Tournament because it’s a fun way to teach the math and critical reasoning skills necessary for students to excel in higher education and ultimately the workforce,” said Noel Carroll, regional sales manager for M&T Bank. “Supporting education is integral to our community approach to banking.”
|THE 2007 M&T BANK 24 CHALLENGE® DISTRICTWIDE FINALISTS
(Grand champions indicated in bold)
Just days before the districtwide tournament, Superintendent Hairston and August Chiasera, president of M&T Bank’s Greater Baltimore Region, visited Woodholme Elementary School as students there prepared for the competition and learned that Hana H. would be representing their school.
According to Woodholme Principal Maralee Clark, 62 of 92 Woodholme 5th graders participated in the 24 Challenge® this year – up from 20 participants last year.
“Our students just love math,” says Clark. “Because we are a math-, science-, and technology-focused school, math is everywhere – integrated with other subject areas, on bulletin boards, and even in songs we sing. It is clear that our students are really comfortable working with numbers and that they enjoy its objectivity and the opportunity to achieve instant success. To participate in the 24 Challenge®, two-thirds of our fifth graders have forfeited some of their free time during the day, to practice during lunch time and recess.”
At the countywide tournament, Principal Clark, proudly attired in a school sweatshirt literally jumped up and down when Woodholme’s schoolwide winner, Hana H. qualified for the championship round and then again when Hana won second place in the elementary division.
Story by Diana L. Spencer, communications officer. Photos by Brice Freeman, director of communications.