The Geography major in me loves seeing things like this in the newspaper:
Whereas students who ready themselves for the spelling bee typically begin with the bee's word list, geography bee contestants have no such handy resource. Instead, they must be more creative and resourceful, relying on a combination of atlases, almanacs and publications. They also usually become voracious newspaper readers; my son often began his mornings boning up on international news in the daily paper.
The geography bee's questions, too, require a different level of thinking. The spelling bee contestants rely on memorization or knowledge of etymology. The geography bee asks competitors to connect many more dots through a broad understanding of political, cultural and environmental factors.
I'm a big fan of the Scripps Spelling Bee, but I would be an even bigger fan of the National Geographic Geography Bee if only it got more coverage. Reading this article from the NY Times makes me wish there was a movie like Spellbound for the geography crowd.
Still, I'm sure that when the spelling bee airs this Thursday, I'll be watching. The eight-year-old really got into it last year, but this year's competition will air during prime time on ABC and won't get over until 10pm - way too late for him to stay up on a school night. Brilliant move, Scripps - we wouldn't want to air this earlier so kids could actually get into this learning stuff or anything.
Oh, how could you, Jacques?
[via a List Of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago, which will be blogging the spelling bee this week]