New Zealand wins medals at international geography competition

19 August 2010


Geography Task Force: Associate Professor Lex Chalmers.

A Waikato University geography lecturer helped set the standard for the 8th International Geography Olympiad, where New Zealand geography students picked up two silver medals and a bronze.

Four students represented New Zealand at the international competition, which was held in Taipei, Taiwan from July 29 to August 4.

Waikato University Associate Professor Lex Chalmers, who was part of the Olympiad International Task Force, says the team achieved New Zealand’s best ever Olympiad result. “This achievement shows the strength of geography teaching in New Zealand,” the geography lecturer says.

The team – Nat Christensen and Andy Dysart (John McGlashan College); Connor McIver (Riccarton High School); and Callum Dudson (Shirley Boys’ High School) – placed seventh out of 27 teams from around the world.

Geo Group

Top Students: From left, student geographers Nat Christensen, Andy Dysart, Connor McIver and Callum Dudson take a break on a field trip in the Taroko National Park, Taiwan.

As part of the Olympiad, students were taken to an unknown 10ha site in the Guandu Nature Park in Taipei and were tested on field skills, cartography, multimedia, and writing geographical analyses. Dr Chalmers set the key question for the fieldwork exam.

The International Geography Olympiad is designed to bring together talented geography students aged 16-19 years from around the world to promote, stimulate and encourage high quality geography education worldwide.

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