Geography champ hopes to go further

NEIGHBORS

January 25, 2001|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CANADA AND THE Bahamas might be the extent of Sean Conaboy's travels, but his knowledge of places far and away has earned him the top place in New Windsor Middle School's geography bee.

The school conducted its first geography bee last year after the National Geographic Society, which sponsors the event, sent a flier to the school encouraging participation, according to Carroll Seiler, a social studies teacher of 10 years who helped pupils organize the bee.

Sean, 13, is eagerly waiting to find out whether he will advance to the state level of the bee. Winners at the school level take a 25-question test as part of the qualification for the state finals.

"It was really hard," Sean said.

The top 100 pupils will compete to represent Maryland in the national geography bee. The site of that competition has yet to be determined, Seiler said. The national competition is held in Washington. Those winners will receive U.S. Savings Bonds.

For the pupils, the geography bee was a fun event that involved the whole school. Seiler said 10 pupils from each grade participated.

Will Kraus and Sean Considine, both 13, were the masters of ceremony this year. Sean Considine was first runner-up last year, but decided not to compete this year so he could serve as host.

"I've done stuff like this before," he said. "Some people have a hard time speaking in front of people, but not me."

Will said the geography bee lasted about two hours and was a process of elimination. Each pupil was asked four questions. Those who gave the most correct answers continued in the competition until one pupil was left.

"It was neat," Will said of his job. "You'd ask a question and you'd watch everyone's face. You knew whether they knew the answer or not."

One of the questions that Sean Conaboy said stumped him was, "What major industry is located in California?" The choices were steel, breakfast cereal and an agricultural item.

"I chose steel because I couldn't believe it would be breakfast cereal," he said with a laugh.

But Sean won the winning question, "Which U.S. territory has three major languages spoken there?"

Sean answered correctly, Guam.

"English, Japanese and Spanish are all spoken there," he said.

Sean said he became interested in geography several years ago after his father started receiving National Geographic. He said he likes looking at the pictures and learning about new places.

Patrick Keefer, a seventh-grader, took second place in the geography bee. Videotaping the contest were Naomi Benedict and Jessica Linthicum, both eighth-graders.

The school expects to hear by March whether Sean will go to the state competition.

Little League sign-up

Sign-up for Taneytown Lions Club Little League will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Northwest Middle School in Taneytown. Parents also may sign up their children from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 2; from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 3; and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10, said Chuck Poole, organizer of this year's Little League.

Registration for T-Ball, for children ages 5 and 6, is $40; for ages 7 and 8, $45; for ages 9 to 12, $50. Girls softball ages 9 to 12 and 13 to 15 is $60. The boys senior group, ages 13 to 16, is $70.

"But everybody will be getting a hat, two-button jersey and pants this year," Poole said.

In past years, participants received a hat and T-shirt only.

The first tryouts will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 25 for age 11 and from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 25 for age 12.

Tryouts will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 4 for 11-year-olds and from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 4 for 12-year-olds.

The tryouts will be held at Northwest Middle School's baseball field.

Information: Chuck Poole, 410-756-2387.

Taneytown Lions raffle

Taneytown Lions Club is gearing up for its Longaberger Basket Raffle, which will be conducted throughout March. About 1,000 tickets are for sale at $5 each. The winning numbers will be based on the Maryland Lottery's Pick 3 drawings.

Information: 410-751-1321.

Line dance classes offered

Taneytown Area Recreation Council is offering line dance classes for all ages beginning March 6.

"Line dancing is still really popular," said Bob Broderick, who runs the council.

The classes will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday at Taneytown Senior Center. Registration fee is $20. Classes run for eight weeks.

Information: Bob Broderick, 410-756-2809.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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