Geo Bee tests Ellis students

Published 7:53 am Friday, December 3, 2010

Southgate Elementary student Jaxon Bell answers a question during Southgate's Geography Bee Thursday. - Eric Johnson/

Kolten Kreuer was glad he heard about Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Although he can’t remember where he heard about Africa’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro was the answer to the question that made Kreuer Ellis Middle School’s National Geographic Bee champion this year.

“I’m amazed,” Kreuer said.

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Katie Willrodt gives an answer in the first preliminary round of the Southgate Elementary Geography Bee Thursday. - Eric Johnson/

Ellis Middle School joined other elementary schools in the Austin school district to host National Geographic Bees, which test students’ knowledge of geography, geology and history. Students have been participating since the early 1990s’ according to Amanda Bremner, the district’s gifted and talented coordinator.

“It’s a good opportunity for students to show what they know about geography,” she said.

At Ellis, 22 competitors were selected out of students who took a preliminary qualifying exam. For almost two hours, students answered tough questions about far-off places before five, and finally two finalists were chosen. Kreuer, an eighth-grader who’s participated in geography bees since he was in fourth grade, answered the most questions in a best-of-three series in the final round. He, along with fifth-graders John Olson, Joseph Krueger, Quentin Paulson and fourth-grader Henry Hinchcliffe, will take a written exam to determine whether any of the Austin winners will compete at the state level National Geographic Bee in April.

“I think it’s great,” said Beverly Kreuer, Kolten’s mother. “I’m glad he did it.”