Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

GR student to state competiton


On Friday geography students from around the state will gather to compete for a chance to attend the National Geographic Geography Bee.

One of those competitors is sixth-grade Monroe Intermediate School student Rebekka Poling.

Poling will join other fourth through eighth-grade semifinalists at the Wyoming National Geographic State Bee, which is sponsored by Google and Plum Creek. This bee will take place Friday in Laramie.

“Last year I did it; and I didn’t do so well so I decided to do it again last year,” Poling said.

To prepare for the school’s geography bee contest, she studied the packets she received last year, and attended the practices MIS teacher and geography bee coordinator Rachel Conder was hosting.

Once or twice a week, the students interested in competing in the school’s geography bee met to work on questions. Conder said she pulled a lot of the questions off of the National Geographic website.

She said the practices were not mandatory and all students interested in competing in the bee just needed to show up during the oral competition. After the oral competition was complete, the winner, Poling, had to take a qualifying test, which they then submitted to the National Geographic Society.

The society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependent School and U.S. Territories to compete in the state bees.

“It is really exciting to see her go and represent Green River,” Conder said.

Poling is also excited, but nervous about the opportunity.

Poling said she not only has been practicing states and their capitals, but countries and continents. She also has been learning about physical features and landmarks that make each state or country unique.

According to a press release from the National Geographic Bee Society, one of the questions asked at the school’s bee last year was “Six-time Super Bowl Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, play football near the source of the Ohio River in which state -- Alabama or Pennsylvania?” Pennsylvania is the correct answer.

Another question was “Disney’s blockbuster movie “Frozen” is set in the fictional land of Arendell, which was largely inspired by the country of Norway. Norway is located on which European peninsula?” Scandinavian Peninsula is the correct answer.

These were just a couple of examples of questions asked. For even more practice, the National Geographic website has a new geography test every day for students to practice on.

Poling is ready to take the stage, wait for her question and then respond to the answer. She is ready for Friday and is hoping to do well.

“I like competitions; and the reason I joined is my big brother and big sister were in it,” she said.

Since her brother and sister were in the competition, they have been helped her prepare.

“My big brother helps me the most,” Poling said. “He’ll just ask me a random question.”

She said it is funny. He will just walk by her or sit down by her and ask her a geography-related question. Once she gets the answer right, he goes on about his business.

Poling knows the competition will be tough, but she has still set goals.

“I want to do as best as I can; and make it as fas as I can,” Poling said.

Whoever wins first-place at state will receive a free trip to Washington D.C. for the 27th annual National Geographic Bee championship, which will take place May 11-13.


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