It’s probably a safe bet that Peter Onjack can identify Bloomington-Normal on a map of Illinois.
The Conrady Junior High School seventh grader will be headed there later this month after qualifying for the state competition of the National Geographic Bee on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal.
The Illinois State Bee will be held on Friday, March 31. Peter will compete against students in grades fourth through eighth from across the state.
One champion from each state and territory will advance to the National Geographic Bee Championship, which will be held May 14 – 18 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Peter competed in January against his peers at Conrady and made it to the semi-finals where he then competed against 10 other students. He took a 70-question qualifying test and made it to the state competition.
He answered questions that included: “Honiara is the capital of an island country in the South Pacific. Name this country.” Also “Dakar is to the Atlantic Ocean as Mogadishu is to what?” and “Which city is in southern Arizona and was part of the Gadsden Purchase of 1853?”
“There were some tough questions. That’s for sure,” Peter said. “I just did my best.”
He said he wasn’t really nervous going into the competition since all the social studies classes were competing. “I’m getting a little nervous heading into the state competition.”
Peter said his mom finds geography quizzes online and works with him a little each day to prepare.
Outside of school, Peter said he enjoys just relaxing at home with friends and playing video games. “This geography bee has been a lot of fun,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot.”
North Palos School District 1177825 W. 103rd StreetPalos Hills, IL 60465708-598-5500 (phone)