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Student competes at National Geographic Bee

on Tuesday, 13 June 2017. Posted in Good life, News, Local News

Student competes at National Geographic Bee

Williams Middle School’s Connor Fraley represented South Carolina in the National Geographic Bee held recently in Washington, D.C.

In the spring of this past school year, more than 4,600 students competed across the United States and territories in National Geographic State Bees. Each State Bee champion received $100, National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, 4th Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent the state in the National Geographic Bee Championship held at National Geographic Society headquarters, which was held last month., May 14-17.

Connor was recognized for his accomplishment at the meeting of the Florence One Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 8. Below is Connor’s description of the process in his own words:

The process began with a written multiple-choice test in the winter with 35 questions. Those with above 30 correct answers qualified to participate in the School Bee. Not to brag, but I was the only student to get 35 out of 35 right on this preliminary test. So, I competed in the School Bee after-school on a Wednesday in the late winter. I beat out five other students who had high scores and qualified for a test to see who could make it to the State Bee.

All school winners must take this test. I scored high enough to make it to the State Bee. To be honest, I came in with low expectations since it was my first time going. However, I pleasantly surprised myself. In the initial state qualifiers, they took all the school winners into separate rooms and asked each of us eight questions. I got seven out of eight correct, and qualified for a tiebreaker round. Since two students got perfect scores and 10 students had seven out of eight, two students had to be dropped to whittle the field down to 10 for the final round. The odds were good, and I made it into the final round.

For the final, we sat at a long table in the front of an auditorium. You could only miss two questions, but I was able to only miss one until the final round. Now it was a best of three between this other person and me. I believe I got one right and he didn't get any, but that was enough to propel me into the National Bee. I won $100 and a free National Geographic Atlas. Now I had to fill out a questionnaire and a video for the National Bee.

I did not qualify for the top 10 in the National Bee, but I did not do too shabby. There were two parts; the first was a test of reasoning, worth 6 points. I got five out of six right here. The second was a much harder one-by-one verbal questioning similar to the preliminary rounds in state. I only got four right here. I ended with a preliminary score of 9/16, which was not good enough to qualify but not bad compared to the rest of the field.

I think my personal favorite part of the experience was walking around D.C. Being from a small town, I do not go to big cities that often and I had never been to D.C. It was so cool for me to see all the monuments I had seen in textbooks and on TV, but never up close and personal. I also rode on a metro for the first time, which was a fun experience. I even had a brief moment of TV stardom when they mentioned the state winners. It was entertaining to see the bee from a front-row seat.

Katherine Hardee served as Connor’s Social Studies Teacher this past school year.

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