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REF NO.: 253

SUBJECT: Geography Challenge comes to campus
DATE: April 6, 2006

How many glaciers are there in Labrador? What’s the provincial tree of Newfoundland and Labrador? Which river is the Palestinian territory known as West Bank on?
These are the sort of questions six junior high students from across Newfoundland and Labrador will need to answer in the provincial round of the Canadian Council for Geographic Education (CCGE) annual Geography Challenge.
Memorial University’s Department of Geography will host the event on Saturday, April 8 on the St. John’s campus.
To qualify for this round, the students, all under age 15, had to score amid the top 276 youth in Canada on a preliminary test.
Five of the six students will come to campus from St. John’s, Bonavista, Bay Roberts, St. Bride’s and Port Rexton. The sixth student will participate over the phone from Churchill Falls.
Geography professors Karyn Butler and Norm Catto say this is the second year Memorial has hosted the event. “It’s a chance to get students interested in geography, and students love competition,” explains Ms. Butler, the event’s official scorekeeper.
The hours-long competition sees students write down and hold up their answers to a wide range of questions, some involving diagrams and others pop culture references to movies.
Last year’s event provided some unexpected excitement “We had a tie between two contestants and had to go to a sudden death. It took 10 or 12 questions before one of the participants missed one!” recalls Dr. Catto.
The winner will advance to the national level – a contest held via Internet – and compete for scholarship prizes, funded by HSBC. National winners get the chance to travel to Budapest to compete internationally.

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