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Sitka 8th grader wins college credit for Geobee finish

Schoening took third place this year in the state geography bee, by knowing the answers to questions like this.

“There’s a fish processing plant in Trondheim in which country?”

Think about that for a minute. There were also some questions a little closer to home.

“Which Central American country that borders Mexico was colonized by England?”

Schoening answered both of these correctly on his way to capturing third place. By now, you’ve remembered that Trondheim is in Norway, and that Belize was colonized by England after sailors shipwrecked there in 1638.

Trying to pull this stuff out of your brain while standing on a stage in Anchorage with ten other finalists is what makes a champion in the geography bee. It also takes a lot of independent study, since geography isn’t taught as a separate class in Blatchley Middle School.

Schoening had help close at hand.

“My dad would quiz me on questions. We have a friend who used to teach and she sent us old geography questions that they used. And there’s this book that National Geographic made. It’s from the 2007 bee. I like getting quizzed on those and it helped.”

This year’s Alaska winner was Andrew Hull, a fifth-grader from Rogers Park Elementary School in Anchorage. Schoening says Hull was “pretty amazing,” but he also reports the last three competitors dueled longer than any geography bee in recent memory.

Besides his 3-credit scholarship to the UAS Sitka campus, Trevor Schoening also won $50 for his third-place finish in the statewide bee on April 1st of this year.

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