Caldwell places sixth in Mississippi Geography Bee

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; An eighth-grade Cathedral student, Chase Caldwell, is well on his way to achieving one of his goals &045; to become a historian &045; after placing sixth overall in the Mississippi State Geography Bee.

&uot;I like history and learning about the world,&uot; Caldwell said about his interest in geography and interest in becoming an historian one day.

Caldwell, 13, first competed in his class competition and won to go on to competing against all fifth through eighth-graders at Cathedral.

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After winning the school competition, Caldwell took a written examination and scored high enough to be one of 100 students to advance to the state competition in Jackson.

At the competition, participants were each asked different geography questions.

Some of the questions were asked with answer choices but some were not, said Caldwell.

The top 10 finalists in the competition were asked the same question that they wrote down and then answered. In preparation for the competition, Caldwell said, &uot;I looked in the back of my social studies book for major capitals.&uot;

One of the questions Caldwell explained he missed in the top 10 phase of the competition was, &uot;If you were flying from Cape Town to Cairo, what country would you not pass over?&uot;

Caldwell couldn’t remember what answer he had provided but was very frustrated because he had originally thought Cape Town was in Jamaica.

&uot;It’s the capitol of South Africa,&uot; explained Caldwell about Cape Town.

At the same time Caldwell was in Jackson competing for the geography bee, April 3-5, he was also participating in the Junior Youth Legislature.

where he won Outstanding Young Senator.

Caldwell said that any eighth or ninth-grade student may participate in the legislature.

Junior legislatures are placed in either the House or Senate, conceive a bill and present the bill to the legislature.

Caldwell composed a bill with his co-author, Jacob Cowart, on banning the use of handheld cell phones while driving. The bill passed in the legislature and went to Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove but was vetoed.

As a result of this experience Caldwell said, &uot;I learned I might want a career in politics and learned how to argue.&uot;

Even though Caldwell was participating in two separate events during the same time, he said both did not interfere with each other.

In addition to Caldwell’s interests in history and politics, he is also an avid music lover.

Caldwell said he has been singing at First Baptist Church of Natchez, where he is a member, for four years and also sings at recitals, including the Pilot Music Program.

On May 18, Caldwell will be singing and playing piano for Vidalia Welcome Center’s open house.

Caldwell is also aspiring to achieve the status of Eagle Scout as part of the Boy Scout’s club.

&uot;It’s the highest rank you can be in boyscoutting,&uot; Caldwell said.

Caldwell has many goals and his grandmother, Lula Caldwell, knows he can achieve them all.

&uot;He’s kind, thoughtful, willing and considerate and of course we think he’s smart,&uot; Lula Caldwell said as her face beamed with pride for her grandson.

&uot;It’s a blessing to have him for a grandson,&uot; she said.