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December 18, 2008
By Jon Fortenbury
Students at the Davidson Academy of Nevada competed in a geography bee on Dec. 11 at the University of Nevada, Reno. Of the nine students who participated in this final round, student Alexander Wade received the first place medal.
“It’s amazing that these little people know way more than the average postsecondary adult in our country,” said Marianne Faker, event coordinator and Davidson Academy teacher.
Created by the National Geographic Society, the geography bee is intended to promote the teaching and learning of geography in schools and to get students excited about geography. Scott Mensing, professor of geography and event moderator, thinks the event is also a fun experience for the kids.
“It is a fun challenge to know the map well enough to be ready to answer questions about any place in the world,” Mensing said.
The geography bee consisted of a variety of questions for the students to answer, ranging from cultural history to current events. This required the students to study a broad range of topics beforehand.
“It takes a lot of work to prepare and the students were very well prepared,” Mensing said.
Wade’s victory provides him the opportunity to go further, competing at the state and national level. The grand prize for winning the entire competition is a $25,000 scholarship.
Opened in fall 2006, the Davidson Academy of Nevada is a free public school for profoundly gifted middle and high school students. The Academy is located on the University campus in the Jot Travis Building.
Students at the Davidson Academy participate in the geography bee every year. This event allows the students to show their intellectual strengths and pursue knowledge, two of the school’s goals.
“Our goal is to give students here at the academy every opportunity they can at all disciplines to be able to excel,” Faker said.