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Evan Pointer (left) a 6th grader at Ecker Middle school is joined by Stephen Heise, Ecker Hill Social Studies teacher, after qualifying to compete in the Utah State Geographic Geography Bee taking place this Friday at Thanksgiving Point.

The Stuttgart region, an important automobile manufacturing center, is located near the Black Forest in what country?

For those of you not studying social studies at Ecker Hill Middle School – the answer is Germany.

Evan Pointer, a sixth-grader at Ecker Hill, has no affiliation with the automobile industry and during his interview with The Park Record answered in perfect English.

Earlier this month, Pointer verified his geography talent to a more notable crowd when he won the school’s Geography Bee held for students in the 5th, 6th and 7th grades.

Pointer, who said he felt like the underdog among the older kids in the competition, has much more going for him other than being a stellar student. Currently a Boy Scout and an avid traveler, thanks to parents working in the airline industry, his favorite subjects in school are history and social studies – the perfect storm for a geography expert. Not to mention he came in second in the school’s geography bee last year.

“I really just like looking at maps,” Pointer said. “My dad is a pilot and mom is a flight attendant, so being able to travel had a big thing to do with how I did.”

Pointer also claims that Mr. Stephen Heise’s sixth- grade Social Studies class also had a lot to do with his success in the recent bee. He also proudly states that he is earning an “A” is his class.

“I can’t take any credit for what Evan has accomplished,” Heise said. “He has come to the class as a sixth grader with a pretty phenomenal background knowledge of geographic expertise knowledge.”

With the success at the school competition – Pointer has earned a trip to the Utah State Geographic Geography Bee scheduled this Friday at Thanksgiving Point. Over 100 4th – 8th graders will be competing for the state title, held by the National Geographic Society, and a chance to compete in the national tournament hosted by the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C. in May.

“I’ve been preparing a lot for the competition,” Pointer said. “I have been studying for one or two hours a day to get ready for Friday.”

With a stack of study materials supplied from his teachers and another stack provided by the NGS, Pointer has his work cut out for him.

“As a sixth grader he has got a great chance in the state bee and certainly will give the older kids a run for their money on Friday,” Heise said.