Glen Crest Geography Bee Puts Students' Knowledge to the Test

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 11, 2000 | Go to article overview

Glen Crest Geography Bee Puts Students' Knowledge to the Test


Do you know which state is the geographic center of the United States?

How about the country that East Timor gained independence from in September 1999? Or what is the capital city of the only communist country in the Caribbean?

These are the questions that Mike Kalnin and Radek Sloninski, students at Glen Crest Middle School in Glen Ellyn, were asked during the final round in the school's annual Geography Bee.

In the end, Mike, an eighth-grader, won the title of school champion and will take the qualifying exam to proceed to the Illinois state finals in Bloomington.

"All of the students at the school take a qualifying exam, which we receive from the National Geographic Society, who sponsors the Geography Bee," said Allen Unger, head of Glen Crest's social studies department. "The students with the top 10 scores in the school then compete to determine who will take the state-qualifying exam."

The 10 finalists competed until the competition was narrowed down to two students, Mike and Radek. Mike will be taking the state qualifying exam for the second year in a row.

"I've enjoyed studying geography ever since my grandpa gave me an atlas in 1992," Mike said. "I also read newspaper and magazine articles related to geography, and pay attention to current events."

Mike enjoys playing the violin in the school orchestra and playing intramural sports. Radek, a seventh-grader, also is an accomplished geography student and member of the school's social studies and computer clubs. …

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