Local Grade 7 student Evan Croteau, 12, is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to world geographic knowledge.
Evan placed seventh in last week’s national Great Canadian Geography Challenge test.
This seventh place finish comes after placing first in School District 79, and within the top three, provincially.
The competition is open to students from Grade 7 to 10, giving Evan’s competitors an age advantage, and making his accomplishment all the more impressive.
Of the top 10 national finalists, Evan was the youngest.
The nearly straight-A Lake Cowichan Secondary School student chalks his success in the Geography Challenge to having a good memory.
“If I see something – if I look at a map, I’ll remember it,” he said.
Evan’s mother, Connie Croteau, remembers seeing Evan bring a globe with him into the television room, from the age of five, whenever the family sat down to watch documentary films about different areas of the world. From a young age, he liked to relate information he learned about countries to the location they are on the planet.
“He used to boggle our minds with what he knew,” Connie said.
An electronic globe, maps, and Google Earth, have all helped Evan’s increasingly encyclopedic knowledge of world geography.
The Great Canadian Geography Challenge consists of multiple choice questions around various issues students typically learn about in Geography class, including history, weather patterns, countries’ flags, facts about countries, the location of countries, and various other things.
All tests were taken online, with Evan answering 97 out of 124 correctly during the nation-wide test.
It isn’t all about studying Geography for Evan, who is also an outdoor enthusiast.
Although he’s not yet sure what he’d like to do once he graduates from high school in about five years, he does know that he’s interested in both writing and travelling.
He’s also currently in the midst of training to become a lifeguard.
Since the Great Canadian Geography Challenge is open to students up to Grade 10, Evan has three more chances to participate; an opportunity he plans on taking advantage of.