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School 'challenges' students with geographic bee

Students televise competition, winner heads to state bee
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Cavitt Junior High School student Karl Redmon experienced 15 minutes of fame in February, appearing as the star of his school’s National Geographic Bee competition.

As winner of the competition, the eighth grader got ample television airtime — the academic contest was broadcast to all classrooms on campus. The school used the annual event to teach students geography in an engaging way, and to weave in the Eureka Union School District’s Challenge 21 program, said Principal Jennifer Platt in a press release.

The Challenge 21 program cultivates “21st century learners” by developing lifelong skills in communication, critical thinking, collaboration, technology and innovation. Students apply these skills regularly in the classroom to be better prepared to use them during college and in their future careers.

By collaborating with the media department and televising the Geographic Bee, the school incorporated several Challenge 21 skills, Platt said.

Competitors used multiple sources to increase their knowledge. They needed to demonstrate communication skills during the challenge and competing was the culmination of a goal they set for themselves.

The production team demonstrated flexibility, leadership, teamwork and responsibility in order to broadcast the Geographic Bee live to the entire school.
History teacher Ed Seaman — who has taught at Cavitt for 35 years — said the bee is a great way for students to collaborate and learn from their peers that geography is “more than just a place on a map.”

Although a Cavitt student has yet to make it to nationals, Seaman thinks the school’s candidate this year has a good shot.

“Karl has a chance to win in California,” Seaman said. “His breadth of knowledge is that good.”

The state bee takes place April 1 and nationals will be held May 24 and 25.The national champion receives a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
~ Sena Christian