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State champ crowned in geographic bee

One hundred of Kentucky’s most geographically aware fourth- through eighth-graders competed for the state championship of the annual National Geographic Bee April 3 at WKU’s South Campus.

The annual competition culminates with the national championship in Washington, D.C., each May, after state-level championship rounds on the first Friday of April.

Joseph Michael Kamer Jr., a seventh-grader from The Lexington School, became the Kentucky State Champion. Nitin Krishna, a 14-year-old from St. Camilles Academy in Corbin, placed second, and Nivedita Khandkar, a sixth-grader from Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville, placed third in the state championship.

Kamer correctly identified Croatia as the country where Pula is located, a port city, industrial center and resort area on the Adriatic Sea.

All three of the finalists received a monetary award and a National Geographic world atlas. In addition, Kamer received an expenses-paid trip to the national competition in Washington, D.C.

Students were tested on a range of geographic subjects, from capitals to culture, and landforms to the environment. The National Geographic Bee website provides details of the annual competition, along with a daily quiz with questions similar to the ones asked in the competition.

Sample questions included: Chile has extensive copper reserves in what desert? (Atacama); the Huang Ho river is commonly known by what English name? (Yellow River), and name Israel’s third largest city located in the northern part of the country on the slopes of Mount Carmel (Haifa).

Dr. David Keeling, head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event’s championship rounds. A number of faculty and students from the departments of Geography and Geology and Curriculum and Instruction volunteered for the event, which was sponsored locally by the Kentucky Geographical Alliance (KGA) and nationally by Google Earth.

Every year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society.

Contact: Scott Dobler at (270) 745-7078.

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