Geography whizzes converge on Madison today. One hundred students from around Wisconsin are participating in the National Geography Bee. "It's not easy stuff," says co-coordinator Sherri Michalowski. "There's a lot of questions I can't answer myself."
Michalowski says kids who enjoy reading – and who are interested in maps – tend to do well in the bee. She worries that many young people don't know much about the subject. "With all the things that are going on educaiton and all the changes that are happening, and the laws and rules that we have with No Child Left Behind, social studies and geography in patricular are getting left behind," says Michalowski, a teacher at Wisconsin Hills Middle School in Brookfield. "I think this allows us to put it back in the forefront. It keeps it alive."
Today's Wisconsin winner will receive a free trip to the national competition next month in Washington D.C. The National Geography Bee is sponsored, appropriately enough, by the National Geographic Society. The geography bee takes place from 9:00 – 11:30 today at American Family Insurance National Headquarters in Madison.