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DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs

PublicAffairs@pac.dodea.edu

RMS Student Advances to National Geographic Bee Championship

For Immediate Release — April 25, 2013 | Pacific
: Public Affairs Specialist | 644-5786
Attribution: Marie Lewis: DoDEA Okinawa District News Liaison

OKINAWA, JAPAN
Patrick Lewallen

Patrick Lewallen

Department of Defense Education Activity Okinawa District is proud to announce that Patrick Lewallen, a 7th grade student at Ryukyu Middle School, obtained the highest score in the National Geographic Bee for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools worldwide.

Patrick will travel to Washington, D.C. in May to represent DoDDS in the National Geographic Bee Championship and to compete for a chance to win a $25,000 college scholarship! 

The National Geographic Bee is a contest that tests students' knowledge of geography. Students participate from schools in the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories and DoDDS. The Bee is designed to encourage the teaching and study of geography. 

There are three levels of competition: school, state and national. To advance from the school level to the state level the winning student must take a written, multiple-choice Qualifying Test. The first place winner from the state Bee advances to the national level. The National Geographic Society provides the questions and answers for the Bee. Concepts covered in the Bee are place-names and the location of cultural and physical features. Also included in the questioning are the distribution and patterns of languages, religions, economic activities, populations and political systems. Questions may require interpretation of maps, graphs and statistics. 

Patrick, son of Col. and Mrs. Stephen Lewallen, became interested in geography during his younger years. 

“My dad is in the Marine Corps, and he travels all the time,” said Patrick. “When I was little, my mom would always use maps to show us the places my dad was and what route he took to get there. I will use geography in the future to help relate to people that I meet from other areas of the world. It’s good to know something about the places that people are from.”

 Patrick enjoyed a recent trip to China and would like to visit Nepal to climb Mt. Everest someday. Wanda Jerez, Patrick’s geography teacher at Ryukyu Middle School, said he takes learning beyond memorizing facts; he focuses on abstract geographical concepts and uses reasoning skills to discuss why and how events happen.

“Patrick is interested in discussing and pondering open-ended concepts through both physical and cultural geography objectives,” said Jerez. “He is interested and well-read in many different areas of the subject and thinks independently. His interests and knowledge assist him in understanding cause, effect, problem, and solution patterns concerning world events.” 

DoDEA Okinawa District congratulates Patrick on his outstanding accomplishment and wishes him good luck in the national championship!

About DoDEA Pacific:

The first organized schools for the children of U.S. military personnel serving in the Pacific were established in 1946 during post-World War II reconstruction. Throughout the decades, Department of Defense schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America’s heroes. Today, DoDEA Pacific’s 49 schools serve over 23,500 children of U.S. military and eligible DoD civilian personnel families stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pacific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,300 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.

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