News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, January 9, 2014
Homeschoolers face off in geography bee
Brandon Aponte wins fourth medal

Brandon Aponte wins home schooler National Geographic Bee

“The Taklimaken Desert, home to the Uyghur people, is located north of the Kunlun Mountains in which Asian country?” Brandon Aponte answered “China,” and won the home schooler National Geographic Bee for the fourth year running. His nine-year-old brother Colin, in forefront, came in second. Librarian Pat Horton hosted.

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by Anne Berleant

“Relax. Think about the world,” said Pat Horton, librarian for youth services at Blue Hill Library, as she began the homeschoolers National Geographic Bee on January 7.

In the end, Brandon Aponte, a 13-year-old from Brooklin, took home the medal.

“Brandon’s been here since the beginning,” said Horton.

Aponte has won the previous three years and his expertise in all subjects geographic showed. He gave not one incorrect answer throughout the preliminary, final and championship rounds of the bee.

The winning question was: “The Taklimaken Desert, home to the Uyghur people, is located north of the Kunlun Mountains in which Asian country?”

Aponte wrote the correct answer: China.

Nine-year-old Colin Aponte came in second place, after losing on the third question in a championship round between the two brothers.

Eight home schoolers participated in the bee, with four moving on to the final round after a first round of questions covered cultural, United States and world geography.

Natalie Brennan, an 11-year-old from Penobscot, and 12-year-old John Ciano of Castine made it to the final four.

The National Geographic Society sponsors the bee for fourth- to eighth-graders across the state, with the winner given a written test to qualify for the state-wide bee in the spring.