Youtube star hosts GeograBee at Gruening Middle School
How well do you know your geography?
What is the largest national park in Alaska?
What is the capital of Egypt?
Whuch flag is the flag of Sweden?
Twenty seventh and eighth graders were asked these questions and others at Gruening Middle School in Eagle River while competing for the GeograBee global award -- and more importantly for some, recognition from the award's famous creator.
"They all know who 'Barby' the YouTube star is and so they were all trying to study to show off their geographical knowledge,” said Gruening geography teacher Katie Barringer. “So it has been a really good time seeing that. "
Paul Barbato, the host of YouTube's Geography Now channel, selected Gruening in a nation-wide middle-school search to host the Geography Now Geography Bee, or GeograBee for short.
"They made a really good submission video -- it was really good, and they really sold this school,” Barbato said. “It's in Alaska; you can't say no to Alaska."
Barbato has over 800,000 followers on YouTube where he creates videos about every country in the world.
"It's very important that we have more content that appeals to people, especially kids, but in an educational format that helps them learn and grow," Barbato said. "So I think it is great that people are able to take what I make and grow from it.”
Barbato loves to host GeograBees, because the kids get so excited.
"Kids are all into pop music and everything, but this is like an educational thing and they are cheering about it and clapping for it, they want to take part in it,” Barbato said. “That's cool, that's awesome; they want to indulge and take part in educational content -- that's amazing. "
After multiple rounds of geography questions ranging from Alaska facts to state capitals to national flags, a winner rose from the ranks.
"I was very excited," said seventh grader Joshua Leiva. "I honestly thought I was going to get out in the first round, but I ended up winning."
The Gruening geography teachers couldn't be happier Friday.
"We are just so proud of our students; they have worked their tails off to study and be on this show and compete for this,” said geography teacher Michelle O'Leary. “We are just always proud of our students. They are great."
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