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Arlington teen to compete in the International Geography Olympiad next week

Daniel Meyer at the United States Geography Championships in April (courtesy of Brendan Meyer)

Arlington Forest teen Daniel Meyer is jetting off to Indonesia this weekend to represent the U.S. in an international geography tournament.

The rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is one of four students in Team USA competing in iGeo, or the International Geography Olympiad, next week.

Starting next Tuesday, the team will face off the best geography students from around the globe during this competition, which will be held in Bandung, Indonesia.

“It’s a very communal environment, because there’s teams from all over the world,” Meyer told ARLnow. “So it’s going to be nice to meet and talk about geography with people who have perspectives coming from all over the world.”

Meyer, who earned his spot after placing fourth at the U.S. Geography Championships in April, has a long history with geography.

As a fifth grader, he won the geography bee at Arlington Traditional School, and went on to qualify for the Virginia State Bee in eighth grade.

“I’ve been interested in geography pretty much my entire life. But even when I was three or four, I was using maps, making my own maps,” he said.

The three-day championship includes multimedia and written examinations, a fieldwork test and a poster presentation with questions ranging from climate change to economic systems to urban planning.

For their fieldwork test, students will be taken to a site and asked to apply their geographic knowledge in a less structured environment, according to iGeo’s website.

“One way I’ve been preparing is actually making my own tests,” Meyer said. “Just exploring all the different areas online, and putting them down, like in a physical format — it helps it get locked in my mind.”

Flying to Southeast Asia and exploring its geography will be a new experience for the geography buff.

“I’ve never really been outside of the country before, so to go to the other side of the world, it’s just a new, interesting thing,” Meyer said.

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