Teen tops geography contest
LANGSHAW’S Kelly Hart is no ordinary 16 year old.
His mother Barb says growing up, he would carry a map of the world just about everywhere.
But that unusual habit led to an interest in geography and an all expenses-paid trip to Western Australia.
Recently Kelly’s class, at James Nash State High School, challenged themselves with the National Geographic Channel’s Australian Geography Competition.
Thinking the knowledge-based test was difficult, Kelly never dreamed that he would be ranked in the top three per cent of geography students in the country.
Beaming yesterday at The Gympie Times’ office, Kelly said he also topped the state.
“James Nash have a pretty good geography program,” he said.
Now he will take part in the annual Geography’s Big Week Out (GBWO) a week of intensive geography fieldwork, designed to extend the nation’s top-performing students.
He leaves for Perth this weekend and will spend time under expert guidance from 10 professional geography educators for six days.
During the trip there will be a two day stop on Rottnest Island, which Kelly is looking forward to.
“I’m really looking forward to heading to Western Australia for a fun week, no doubt with a fair amount of challenging geography fieldwork and an exam thrown in!”
But what’s most exciting is the chance to win a place on Australia’s Asia Pacific Regional Geography Olympiad team – the next Olympiad is being held in Mexico from July 4 to 9, 2011.
“I’m just happy to go to Perth…but I want to do it (get on the team) for Queensland.”
Kelly said most kids who were heading to the GBWO were from major cities so he was happy to represent regional Queensland.
In the future he hopes to make a career out of geography but he prefers the general topic of geography to a specialist field.
He is also interested in travelling and said one place on his wish list was the Curacao Islands off South America – famous for its liqueur.
Sixteen students from every state (and the ACT) were chosen to take part in GBWO from December 5 to December 10.