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Canadian Geographic Challenge


2010 Geography Challenge National Final


After competing in the Geography Challenge for five years in a row, Alejandro Torres-Lopez (right) of North Vancouver won the national final in May. The 15-year-old Handsworth Secondary School student competed against 34 other finalists from across the country in the online competition organized by the Canadian Council for Geographic Education.

“I was really excited that in my last year of competing, I had a good finish,” he says.

Torres-Lopez, whose father is from Argentina and whose mother is from Portugal, has travelled to 20 different countries, which he says is the reason he enjoys learning about culture and geography.

“I like knowing which countries have the biggest rivers, the biggest mountains, the biggest cities,” he says. “The Challenge was a wonderful experience, and I learned so much.”

Fourteen-year-old Yujia Zhu of Montréal took second place and is the first female to finish in the top three in the 16-year history of the competition. Alexander Cohen, 14, of Ottawa answered two rounds of questions perfectly to break a tie and claim third place for the second consecutive year.

— Jessica Bell
(Photo courtesy Carolina Torres)

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Did you know that a 2005 National Survey determined that one-third of adult Canadians can be considered “geographically illiterate”?

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“Geography is the lens for the soul of the earth. With the knowledge of geography, one can examine the earth’s past, assess the present and predict future situations. You can literally be ‘lost’ without geography!”



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