by Lisa Tome
Garrett Frock had what it takes to earn the title of Geography Bee champion for Rising Sun Middle School.
Frock, an eighth grader, bested 14 of the school's map masters to collect the title last Thursday morning. The event began with 15 students, all of whom had taken in class tests to qualify, sitting on a stage in the cafeteria. They then were quizzed by Principal Rick Edwards.
Questions were multiple choice and ranged from the easy to difficult. Categories included U.S. States and later, the world. Examples are "In which state would you be more likely to experience a hurricane?", "Which of these two states has more lakes?" and "Which is more likely to fly from a cave a cardinal or a bat?" There was also a national parks category in celebration of a century of national parks. Unusual facts about various countries were also part of the bee. Everyone got a chuckle when Edwards read that children in Greece throw teeth on the roof when they fall out.
After the initial rounds, Frock and another student were given paper and pencils and asked to answer three questions: one involving Lake Erie, one regarding the Great Salt Lake, and one about cities in Texas. After those questions, Frock was declared the winner. He received a medal, backpack, trophy, and certificate.
"Half my answers were guesses. Every year, I have made it to the finals here but not to states," said Frock, who said he didn't make any special preparations. "I've been to Iowa and Florida. But we drove from Maryland to Iowa," said Frock. "The questions were pretty easy."
Edwards said the Geography Bee is a test for which he prepares. Days before the contest, Edwards reads over the questions to make sure he has no missteps with pronunciation. "I'd hate to mess kids up, so I practice too," said Edwards.
Frock, the son of Jeff and Louise Frock of Rising Sun, now earns the right to take an online test to see if he qualifies to compete at the State Geography Contest which will be held in March. Frock said if he moves on to the next round, he will be excited to represent the school. "It was a good day," said Frock.