Kenny Petrini representing Alaska in National Geographic Bee finals

News anchors Kate and Kenny rehearsing for morning announcements while Hunter sets up technical equipment. Photo by Alexander Duerre.

News anchors Kate and Kenny rehearsing for morning announcements while Hunter sets up technical equipment. Photo by Alexander Duerre.

On May 20-22, 54 students across the US will assemble and compete in the 25th Annual National Geographic Bee in Washington D.C. Each year thousands students across the nation compete to win an opportunity to represent their state in the national championship.

Alaska hosted the 25th National Geographic Bee State Finals on April 5th. One hundred students in 3rd through 8th grade from across the state assembled at the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage to compete. Five groups of twenty students competed during the preliminary round to move forward to the State finals. A Central Middle School 8th grader won this year’s contest.

“My name is Kenny Petrini. You know I grew up here for a while; but I am originally from Thailand. So, I consider myself an Anchorage person,” he said.

Kenny has competed in the State Geography Bee for several years and described his studying strategy for each competition.

“I study probably at least…at least an hour a night. I do online quizzes and I look at atlases. I work with my dad…he…he asks me questions…he gets me materials to study with and my mom does too,” Kenny said.

When studying geography, Kenny enjoys learning about Alaska. And he believes geography is an important subject for all students to learn.

“Cause in today’s world everything is changing a lot…you know new countries um…revolutions you know like Africa North Africa that stuff. So, geography is pretty important,” he said.

Besides geography, Kenny plays the trombone, runs for the school’s track and field team and is a news anchor for Central’s News Broadcasting Channel.

As the State winner, Kenny received: $100. He’ll represent Alaska in the National Championship in Washington, D.C. on May 20-22.

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