Geography Fair Puts 'Diversity' on the Map
Posted on November 24, 2008
Faculty and Staff
Students from 11 communities -- a record 300 young people from area elementary and middle schools -- participated Saturday in the 22nd annual Geography Fair at Bridgewater State College.
"The Americas: Cultural and Physical Diversity" was the theme of this year's program, and in attendance for the event, held at the Burnell Hall building, were more than 500 family members and teachers.Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria
, president of the college, delivered welcoming remarks prior to the awards ceremony, and praised the high quality of the projects and the excitement the students showed about geography.
Among the awards presented was the seventh annual Dr. Glenn Miller
Award for Outstanding Achievement in Geography Education, which is named in memory of the longtime member of BSC's geography faculty.
The students, from grades four through eight, presented 157 projects, ranging from "The economy of Peru" to "Fishing in Nova Scotia" to "Life in the Galapagos," and received high marks from one of the chief organizers of the event.
"They showed a wonderful sense of enjoyment in learning about the world," said Dr. Vernon Domingo
, professor of geography at the college and member of the steering committee of the Southeast Massachusetts Geography Network (SEMAGNET), a regional network of geography teachers, which sponsored the event. "For them, geography -- the study of places -- is now much more alive. These students spent many hours on their projects and it showed in the exceptional work that they displayed."
A number of BSC geography majors assisted in planning the fair and were involved on Saturday, Dr. Domingo added.
"It was of course a great group effort," he said. "I was especially proud of our BSC geography majors who came through in the crunch. Twelve of them worked as judges, and the experienced teachers in our network were very impressed by the students' professionalism and the high level of questions they asked of the contestants. Our students did us proud."
Dr. Domingo said he and the geography teachers involved with SEMAGNET are already planning next year's program. "We look forward to another great one next year. Next year's theme will focus on Europe. We invite teachers to get their students involved," he said.
Participating schools this year included Friends Academy in Dartmouth; Galvin Middle School, Canton; Heath Elementary School, Brookline; Hobomock School, Pembroke; Horace Mann Middle School, Franklin; John Nichols Middle School, Middleborough; Plymouth Community Intermediate School and Plymouth South Middle School, Plymouth; Rochester Memorial, Rochester; Rogers Elementary School, Fairhaven; and Westport Middle School in Westport.
The event was supported financially by the office of the provost and the Massachusetts Global Education Consortium. (Story and photos by David K. Wilson, '71, Office of Institutional Communications)