By Noriko KudoJanuary 26, 2018
Camp Zama, Japan (Jan. 26, 2018) - Ten John O. Arnn Elementary school students compete in the 30th annual school-wide National Geographic Bee held Jan. 19 inside the school's information center, located on the Sagamihara Family Housing Area installation.
Benjamin Greenman, reading specialist for Arnn and one of the judges, said 150 plus students from the 4th, 5th and 6th grades initially took a preliminary round of testing, answering 35 geographical questions. The top 12, which included 10 finalists and two alternates, from that round of testing became the finalist for the school-wide NGB.
Greenman said he got all the finalists together before the competition and told them to celebrate themselves for doing such a good job to get to this level.
In the final round, the ten finalists answered 25 geographical questions about the US and the world.
In the championship round, Vincent Carlo, a 6th-grader, and Brody Winnett, a 5th-grader, answered three questions.
"It was fun and stressful," said Vincent, who was later announced as the champion. "I tied for seventh place last year, and was really determined to win this year," he said.
"It's like a dream come true," said Vincent.
Geography has become Vincent's favorite subject he said, after studying so much for the NGB and especially after winning first place.
Brody, 2nd place finalist, said this year's competition was his first time competing in the NGB.
"Every single day I studied," said Brody. "I took my teacher's advice on trusting my instincts."
Brody said he learned a lot about the US by simply living there for most of his life; however, "by moving to Japan, it gives me the opportunity to study another side of the world."
Many of the children here have a lot of world experiences and knowledge about different places from around the globe, said Greenman.
"I want the children to be global citizens," said Greenman, and to better understand geography and history behind some of the changes occurring in the US and other countries.
Vincent will move on to the next process, which is to complete an online test to move to the state competition.