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White Cliffs student competes for big geography prize

Kael Juelfs

KINGMAN - For the first time in several years, Kingman Unified School District will have a student participating in the Arizona National Geographic Bee on April 5.

White Cliffs Middle School seventh-grader Kael Juelfs will represent the district in Tucson.

The contest is open to students in grades 4 through 8 and is sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Students first compete in an oral competition at the school level, said Dana Kunert, the school's sixth, seventh and eighth grade Cambridge Social Studies teacher. The winner of the school competition then takes a written test, which is mailed to the National Geographic Society.

The 100 students who score the highest on the test are invited to the state competition, she said. Juelfs is the first student to be invited to the state level from the district in the last five years.

"He has a great awareness of geography," Kunert said. "He came to my class with that awareness."

"I've always liked geography," Juelfs said. "I think it helps out with my hunting. If you don't know the landscape, you don't know where to hunt."

Most of the questions in the bee are about where certain cities and countries are located, he said. Students also are grilled on questions about historic geography.

"There was a question on the test about which European nation was [recently] broken up into smaller states," Juelfs said. "The answer was Yugoslavia."

Juelfs said he's excited to compete on the state level, but he's not thrilled about the long drive to Tucson.

The grand prize for the winner of the state competition is $100 and a trip to the national competition in May in Washington, D.C. The winner of the national competition earns a $25,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

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