Top Vermont geography students face off - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Top Vermont geography students face off

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They are questions many adults probably can't answer, but 100 young geography pros made it look easy Friday. The kids from across Vermont competed at the National Geographic Bee held at Middlebury College.

"It's kind of an eclectic group with kids in the fourth grade up the eighth grade, so it's quite interesting to see the dynamic," said Phil Acebo of the National Geographic Bee.

"I get pretty nervous," said Sam Bender, 13, of Richmond.

But nerves did not interfere with the seventh-grader's performance.

Sam Bender: I study almost too much... I study a lot.

Reporter Gina Bullard: How often do you study?

Sam Bender: Basically every night before bed I read. I just love studying, which may be different for some people.

"Geography skills in this country are pretty lacking," Acebo said. "We live in a global world today, our economy is based on trade with other countries. Look at the immigrants we have. So many people make their living working here and globally."

One Vermont winner will be crowned. They will get to compete against the top students from each state in the 25th annual National Geographic Bee held in Washington, D.C. Bender hopes all his studying pays off.

Gina Bullard: Do you think you have a shot at going to Washington?

Sam Bender: Oh yes, definitely.

Gina Bullard: How would that feel?

Sam Bender: Amazing, of course, but probably one of the best moments of my life probably.

In the end, seventh-grader Tyler Jager from Manchester, Vt., won the competition and will be heading to Washington, D.C. First prize in the national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship.

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