Geography student Laura Bennett taking part in Geography’s Big Week Out in Western Australia last December.
Geography student Laura Bennett taking part in Geography’s Big Week Out in Western Australia last December. Supplied

Laura to test her mind in Mexico

LOCAL geography whiz Laura Bennett is heading to Mexico in July to test her knowledge against some of the world’s brightest students.

She will compete in the Asia Pacific Regional Geography Olympiad with three other Australian students in Merida, Yucatan.

“I’m so excited and look forward to learning more, being around good friends and going on holiday,” she said.

“I plan to stay in the country after the competition to see Mexico City.”

Laura won her place on the team of Australian geography students through her participation in last year’s National Geographic Channel Australian Geography Competition.

The annual competition tests Australian geography students’ depth of understanding in the subject, as well as a wide base of generic skills and knowledge.

Between 85,000 and 90,000 geography students from across the nation take part in the competition each year.

The top male and female from each state and territory were selected to take part in the ‘Geography Big Week Out’ in Perth last December and from here Laura was selected for the Olympiad team.

“The National Geography competition went really well and I was selected to go to Perth for the ‘Geography Big Week Out’ which was an outstanding school competition,” she said.

“We did a lot of field work on beach and coastal processes at Rottnest Island and walked around looking at the development of Perth’s CBD.

“It was an excellent learning experience and the highlight was being in an environment with like-minded people.”

The 2011 National Geographic Channel Australian Geography Competition takes place in schools at the end March/early April and offers two geography students the chance to win a place on the Australian team to compete in the National Geographic Channel World Championships being held in California in July.

A further four students have the opportunity for selection onto Australia’s team to the International Geography Olympiad to be held in Cologne, Germany, in 2012.

Co-ordinator of the 2011 National Geographic Channel Australian Geography Competition, Kath Berg, believes such trips provide an exciting incentive for participating geography students.

“As well as the motivation that overseas travel with like-minded peers offers our students, these trips enhance the global perspective of the study of geography,” Ms Berg said.

“In the past two years alone Australian geography students have travelled overseas to take part in international geography competitions in Taipei, Taiwan; Tsukuba, Japan and Mexico City.”



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