If you have a question about geography, just ask Locust Valley Middle School sixth grader James Babinsky. His knowledge of several areas of geography earned him first place in the school’s Geography Bee. James will now go on to compete in the National Geography Bee.

This elimination-style bee required participants to answer difficult questions under strict time restraints. Topics included map reading, questions about cities, U.S. and world geography, as well as historical and cultural geography, and the geography of extremes (such as weather).

Locust Valley Central School District’s Social Studies Chairperson, David Ethe, encourages students to study hard for the bee. “It reinforces the importance of this topic,” he explained. “This is one way of teaching different forms and types of geography.”

Sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the winner from each school competes in the National level of the bee by taking a written exam. Mr. Ethe will administer the exam to James, who beat out 23 other students from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades to gain the title of geography bee champion. Each of those students won a similar competition in their individual social studies classes.

“They all showed incredible knowledge,” Mr. Ethe noted. “James obviously studied hard and it showed, as he was focused and answered all of his questions without much hesitation.”