Middle schoolers buzzed about geographic bee | VailDaily.com

Middle schoolers buzzed about geographic bee

EVMS students listen to directions from District Library Media Coordinator Barb Romersheuser and wait for their names to be called at the 2012 Geographic Bee at Eagle Valley Middle School.

EAGLE, Colorado – Of course, barrier islands help shelter a nature reserve on Apalachicola Bay, but where is that? Everyone knows that. Don’t they? Maybe not?

We know who does. The Eagle Middle School students who competed in the National Geographic Bee.

And it turns out they’ve known that sort of thing for decades.

Eagle Valley Middle has sent a competitor to the state geographic bee in 11 of the past 23 years.

This year it looks like sixth grader Collin Jenkins. After eight rounds Jenkins and eighth grader Remington Beveridge were the two still standing.

The ninth round was the winner when Jenkins knew the answer to this one:

“Chiapas, site of several ancient Maya ruins, is the southernmost state in what country?” (Mexico).

When he nailed it, his face broke into a grin the size of the Euphrates River, which, by the way, he could also have answered questions about. And that’s as it should be for the 2012 EVMS Oral Geographic Bee Champion.

“The knowledge that our students have in the field of geography is very impressive,” said Katie Jarnot, EVMS principal. “Their attention to world geography undoubtedly benefits them greatly, as they will soon be part of an ever-increasing global economy. It was very exciting to see so many students qualify, which raised the level of competition for everyone.”

For this year’s 24th annual event, all Eagle Valley Middle School students took a written 50-question pre-test. They had to know about U.S. geography, continents, cultural geography and world geography.

From the entire student body, 44 students qualified for the Oral Geographic Bee. Competitors lasted eight rounds, until only Jenkins and Beveridge remained.

Jenkins will now take a written test prepared by the National Geographic Bee committee. That test will be sent to Washington D.C. for scoring.

If he qualifies, Jenkins will be invited to the State Geography Bee held in Denver on March 30. Win there and the National Geographic Society gives him an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national championship, contested by state champions from across the country. That’s in May.

The national champion wins a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

For nearly two and a half decades, the National Geographic Society has held the National Geographic Bee for students in grades 4-8 in thousands of schools across the United States. The National Geographic Bee was created in response to a growing concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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