Friday, January 27, 2012

Fifth-grader wins geography bee for second year

Several Geography Bees took place, we share news from just one of them, in Connecticut. From Norwich Post: Fifth-grader wins geography bee for second year Colchester, Conn. — The look on Amanda Magyarik’s face changed from nervous anticipation to delighted surprise when she heard the final correct answer Jan. 20 at the Jack Jackter Intermediate School geography bee. That’s because the fifth-grade student just learned she became the contest’s champion for a second consecutive year. Magyarik, 11, and fourth-grader Teddy Chesnes, 9, made it to the championship round of the school’s geography bee. Magyarik correctly answered that Mexico is home to the state of Chiapas. It’s the country’s southernmost state and home to several ancient Mayan ruins. “It’s really awesome,” Magyarik said after she and Chesnes received gift certificate prizes. “It’s one of those things that you just want to keep reliving.” Last year at this time, Magyarik was the first student from Colchester to advance to the state geography bee. She can’t wait to try again. “That was pretty cool,” Magyarik said. “You’re surrounded by lots of kids that are way older than you, so it’s pretty scary.” Magyarik will take a written test next week to determine if she’ll qualify to move on to the state competition. She has to take a 70-question test, which she has one hour to complete. Only the top 100 test-takers make it to the state level. “I think it’s actually easier to do the written part in certain ways,” she said. “There’s less pressure.” If she qualifies at the state level, she’ll go to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national competition, hosted by Alex Trebek. A program developed by the National Geographic Society, the event is in its 24th year. Other students who participated in the bee were Christina Antila, Edward Russell, Alex Manolev, Vincent Tufo, Sarah Praisner, Christopher Holdsworth, Camille Running, Gabe Collins and Michaela Baxter. Each student answered both oral and written questions about state, national and international geography. Some had to stand on tiptoes to reach the microphone in front of them. And the host, fourth-grade teacher Michael Byrne, was excited about interacting with the young contestants, too. “I love looking at maps,” Byrne said. “It’s a great competition, some hard questions.”

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