The Challenge 24 Competition is a mathematics competition for 4th through 8th graders. Participants play the 24 Game, which involves a deck of cards, each showing four whole numbers between 1 and 9. When presented with a card, the players strive to be the first to combine the four numbers to make 24 using only addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. All four numbers must be used once and only once, but it is not necessary to use all four operations. Each card in the 24 Game is marked with one dot, two dots, or three dots to indicate its level of difficulty. Generally, the higher the number of dots, the more challenging the card.
Recently new games have been added to challenge more advanced students. The new games include double digits, fractions, decimals, integers, variables (where the value of x and or y can be any whole number between 1 and 9) and Algebra/Exponents (where an exponential operation must be used: square, cube, square root, or cube root). A regional competition is held in the spring, followed by a national competition later in the year.
In 1988, successful inventor Robert Sun embarked on a journey to teach children the relationship between numbers through a game. The result of his efforts was the 24® Game, a unique mathematics teaching tool that has the power to engage students from diverse economic and social backgrounds.
The company Sun founded, Suntex International Inc., an organization committed to furthering mathematics education. Their objective is to help students develop math skills that will sustain them for a lifetime by promoting permanent skill retention—not just short-term memorization of facts.