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Clayton Schools to host math competition

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

More than 70 Clayton County elementary school students are expected to converge on Charles R. Drew High School, in Riverdale, to see who can take four numbers and add, subtract, multiply and divide them into the number 24 this weekend.

The school system's annual "Challenge 24" math competition, which will be held Saturday, is expected to have approximately 75 participating fourth-, and fifth-graders, according to school system Elementary Math Coordinator Natasha Jefferson. She said the top fourth-, and fifth-graders from school-level "Challenge 24" competitions will be the students participating in the county-level competition.

Registration will begin Saturday at 8 a.m., with the actual competition scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., according to Jefferson. The competition site, Drew High School, is located at 6237 Garden Walk Blvd., in Riverdale. The Challenge 24 competition is based on the "24 Game," Jefferson said.

"The children are given a card with four numbers on it, and they have to add, subtract, multiply and divide those numbers to reach the number, 24," Jefferson said.

This year's competition will be different because, for the first time ever, it will be held in conjunction with another school system event -- the school district's first-ever Student/Teacher Technology Showcase. The showcase will also be held Saturday, from 9 a.m., to 12:30 p.m., at Drew High School.

"We decided to hold both events at the same location because, in the past, we've found that having separate events going on in the district [at the same time, in different locations] divided our audiences," Jefferson said.

The top six fourth-graders, and the top six fifth-graders from the school system's "Challenge 24" competition will advance to the regional "Challenge 24" competition, which will be held May 22, at New Hope Elementary School, in Locust Grove, according to Jefferson. There is no higher level of competition than the regional competition, she said.

Participants in the county's "Challenge 24" competition will be scored based on their speed and accuracy, according to Jefferson. The youths will be broken up into groups of four, and placed at tables with "24 Game" cards on them, she said. She added that there will be a school system employee at each table, acting as a proctor.

The first student to touch the "24 Game" card in each group will then have to explain his, or her, answer to the proctor, and will lose points for being wrong, or for touching the card again while explaining his, or her answer, according to Jefferson. She said an 8-minute video, explaining how the competition works, will be available for parents to watch during the competition.

The technology showcase, meanwhile, will feature the work Clayton County students, teachers and staff have done in areas including: Animated graphic design; 3-D modeling; robotics; digital photography; digital video production; multimedia applications; non-multimedia applications; Internet applications, and technology literacy.

"The event will focus on the celebration of technology, much like the excitement of playing with a new toy," School System Spokesperson Jacqueline Evans said in a written statement. "Students, teachers, and district office displays will feature the fun and creativity experienced in learning new skills while using high-tech equipment and software in everyday applications," she said.

Each school in the district is required to submit, at least, one project for the technology showcase, according to the school system's web site. School Improvement Specialists for Instructional Technology Jozan Wright, and Marques Strickland, the organizers of the showcase, could not be reached for comment on Monday.