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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Sullivans School Hosts National Geographic Bee
By Steve Parker and Calvin Grosshuesch 19-Mar-15
The National Geographic Bee (or informally, the Geobee) local final rounds were held on 8 January 2015 at Sullivans Elementary School. The first place winner will now take a written examination to qualify for advancement in the worldwide competition. This year’s first and second place winners were Madison McCartney (Grade 5) and Kenshin Dean (Grade 5). Josiah De For took first place in the Home School division. Josiah and Madison each get a trophy for their accomplishments. National Geo Bee T-shirts were awarded to all three competitors, and National Geographic books were awarded to the top eight finalists. This year’s prizes were donated by the Sullivans PTO. The Geobee is an annual geographic contest for American elementary and middle-school students. The Geobee, held every year since 1989, is open to students in Grades 4 through 8 in participating American schools. More than four million students a year begin the geography competition locally by competing for a spot in the finals, which culminates in a national competition (featuring the winners from each state) every May in Washington, D.C. Alex Trebek has moderated the final round since the competition began 26 years ago. At Sullivans, students in Grades 4 and 5 answered questions in the opening round by tuning in their classroom televisions as Calvin Grosshuesch, Sullivans’ Geobee sponsor for the last 18 years, read out 30 questions over SSN (Sullivans School Network), a student-staffed school television network. The top 28 scorers competed at an assembly in the Sullivans Multipurpose Room on 18 December. From that Pool, seven Grade 5 students and one Grade 4 student competed in the School’s final round on the 8th of January. The questions, even at the beginning level, are quite challenging. For example, one of the first round questions was, “Kangaroo Island, south of the Yorke Penninsula is the third largest island in what country?” Another question from the second round of competition was, “The Somali Basin lies off the east coast of which continent?” Mr. Grosshuesch stated he enjoys sponsoring the Geobee because, “Every year I learn something new… and I always wanted to be Alex Trebek.” By the way, the answers to the above 2 questions were Australia and Africa, respectively. So study up on your orology and your eremology, do not neglect your geography, and you could win the next Geobee! Or if you are too old to qualify, perhaps you can impress your friends at your next Trivial Pursuit party. DoDEA Pacific provides a comprehensive pre-K through 12 education to the children of military and eligible civilian personnel families serving throughout Asia. The 50 schools in DoDEA Pacific are composed of more than 23,500 students and 3,400 professional educators and support staff. The Sullivans School is the largest school in DoDEA, with a student body of approximately 1,200 in Grades K-5.
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