Kensington fifth-grader headed to state Geography Bee – News …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 10, 2018 in Rat News | Subscribe

KENSINGTON Lucy Galitski admits she can’t remember how to spell the Austrian town where her maternal grandmother lives.

“I speak German better than I write it,” the Kensington Elementary fifth-grader said.

Lucy has earned a spot on the state National Geographic Geography Bee and will compete this weekend against the best and brightest geography students in the Granite State. She’s one of several students the school, one of the smallest in SAU 16, has sent to the state competition in recent years, according to Principal Becky Ruel.

Relaxing with her classroom teacher Tammy D’Agostino, Lucy said she’s always had an interest in other cultures, “just for fun.” She’s traveled extensively with her family, mostly in the states, but also to the homeland of her Austrian-born mother. She loved every minute of it.

“Learning how other people think will help us understand them better,” Lucy said.

She took the preliminary test for theGeography Bee in fourth grade, and when she took it in the fifth grade, she was one of the top-four finishers. She competed on the school level against nine of her peers. She admits to having been nervous, but she studied hard, making use of the organization’s geography quizzes and poring over globes and maps. She even scrutinized a quilt she’s had all her life, with the states and capitals appliqued on it.

She’s forgotten the question she won on, but remembers, “It had to do with Montana.” The hardest question was one that dealt with the lunar eclipse, but she worked it out and nailed it.

Winners of the school contests are eligible for the state Geography Bee if they pass an online test, and Lucy was game. It was a timed test, a specific number of questions in a specific amount of time, and she took it online. “The questions started out easy, but they got harder,” she said.

When she qualified, Ruel sent a notice to the senior Galitskis. Lucy remembers thinking it was “sort of unbelievable. I was surprised at how well I did.”

But she’s been studying for today’s stateGeography Bee, taking quizzes on her own and poring over maps, globes and anything she can find.

Lucy enjoys travel and counts Austria as one of her favorite places. “Vienna is always busy,” she said. “There are a lot of ice-cream stands, and the pastries are very good!”

She speaks some German and can communicate with her grandmother, who lives in the Austrian countryside.

And she’s pondering the University of Vienna for a college, she said.

Where in the world would Lucy go if she had the time and funds? “Paris,” she said. “I’d love to see the Eiffel Tower.” Sunny Greece also beckons her, and she’s interested in India.

“I like rats,” she said with a grin. “And they have pet rats in India.”

The study of other places, and the people who live in them, is important in today’s world, according to D’Agostino. “Our students need to recognize what’s in the world around them, and not just through technology and devices,” she said. “It would be fantastic if everyone could travel, but not everyone can. The next best thing is to learn about other people, their similarities and differences with ourselves.”

“Geography,” D’Agostino said, “connects us all.”

The state Geographic Bee will be held today beginning at noon at Keene State College.

The National Geographic Bee is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Students in grades four through eight from 10,000 schools across the United States will compete in the 2018 National Geographic Bee for a chance to win college scholarships and to become the national champion. The state champion will be invited to attend the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., May 20-23.

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