AlphaStar Academy supports math excellence at all levels, and this year we were happy to support our local MathCounts chapter. Dr. Ali Gurel was invited to educate and entertain mathletes and their families at Greene Middle School in Palo Alto on Saturday February 1. While scorers in the grading room were busy scoring their test papers, Dr. Gurel led the students in a game of 24. Students are provided with 4 numbers and the standard operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and try to figure out a way to use the numbers and operations to generate the target number. Soon parents were joining in the fun with their own attempts to hit the target, often missing by one. As the problems grew increasingly difficult, Gurel pointed out ways to augment the inputs, like using the distributive property to double the effect of multiplication across a sum. Even the most elementary properties can be seen again in a new light!
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