A Student of Slovenian Gymnasium Becomes One of the World’s Best Geographers Following the Results of the International Olympiad
Four Slovenian gymnasium students (winners of the national Olympiad) took part in the International Olympiad in Geography in Quebec (Canada). Two of the participants represented the Gorenjska region. Job Stopar from the settlement of Naklo, a student of the Kranj Gymnasium, won a bronze medal and entered the list of the world’s 87 best young geographers. Luka Kambič from Radovljica, a student of the Jesenice Gymnasium, took the fourth place. In total, 165 schoolchildren aged 16 to 19 and 80 mentors from 43 countries participated in the Olympiad.
Before the beginning of the Olympiad, each team had prepared a poster on the topic “How Does Water in Any State Affect the Life in Your Country?” The Slovenian team represented the salt industry as one of the few in the world where salt is produced in a traditional way. The competition included written work, practical work in the field, as well as multimedia. The written test on geography contained questions on general and regional geography divided into 8 thematic blocks, for example, the problems of coral reefs, glaciers, the spread of the Ebola virus, etc. Students also wrote an essay on the advantages and disadvantages of the Airbnb online platform for leasing private housing on the example of Barcelona. To complete the practical task, the participants went to the region of Charlevoix, where they studied and mapped the city of Bai-Saint-Paul as well as the coastal strip, and later answered a number of questions. They identified three neglected areas, for which it is necessary to work out a sustainable development strategy that prevents outflow of local population and increases the tourist attraction. It should be noted that the tasks were performed individually. The participants of the Olympiad were forbidden to consult each other.
The participants and mentors (one of the two mentors accompanying the students, was a teacher from Jesenice Gymnasium, Mirjam Martinuč Bernard) lived in the campus of the University of Laval, the second oldest university in North America. The host programme for all participants included two excursion trips. The first trip was made to Quebec and the St. Lawrence River, and the second trip was organised to the Fort de Montmorency to the world’s largest training forest.