On April 6, Taos Charter School's own Bintoro Maeder, will be heading to Albuquerque to try to win the State National Geographic Bee.
The National Geographic Bee is a competition for geography lovers. Contestants work their way up through a school, state, and national bee. Only grades 4-8 can compete.
One champion from each state and territory will advance to the National Geographic Bee Championship, which will be held May 20-23 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. Transportation and accommodations for the Washington, D.C., trip are provided for each state champion and one parent or guardian.
The qualifying test is a quiz given to the school champions to make sure they qualify for the state bee.
Only 100 competitors make it to the state bee. The first-place winner for the state gets $100, second place gets $75, and third gets $50. The grand prize for the winner of the national bee is a $50,000 college scholarship as well as a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society, plus a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Bintoro Maeder is an 8th grader at Taos Charter School.
"Since 4th grade Bintoro has done geography 24/7," said Sally Greywolf, 6th grade teacher at Taos Charter School, "He even has geo facts placemats, taped to the back of the driver's seat in his family's car so he can stare at the facts as he runs around town. At Maeder's home he has more geo facts taped to the wall next to his pillow."
Maeder eats, sleeps and dreams of the Geographic Bee. We wondered, why geography?
"I like geography because I like to learn about new people and places," said Maeder.
This is Maeder's last year to compete, so he's hoping to advance to the finals, he says with a nervous smile,
"I am a little bit afraid of losing because it's my last year." Maeder seems more motivated than ever professing, "I think I can win if I study hard enough."
We will be thinking of him April 5 as he drifts off to a Geo Bee filled dreamland beside his wall of maps.