Peter Chmiel is on a mission: to represent Illinois in the finals of the National Geographic Geography Bee.
That's why, Peter, an eighth grader at Station Middle School in Barrington, has spent countless hours studying questions like "What is the term for the triangular deposit of sediment sometimes found at the mouth of a river?" and "The Danakil Depression is one of the lowest points of which continent?"
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Peter will have his shot to get to nationals Friday morning at the state finals at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. There, he will face the 99 other 4th through 8th graders who've both beaten everyone at their schools and scored high marks on a written National Geographic exam.
Should he best his fellow Illinois hopefuls, Peter will move on to the finals in the nation's capitol.
Peter has had some experience with the pressure of the national spotlight, albeit for a different tournament. Last year he competed in the Scholastic Bowl with three other students from Station. Peter's team went on to win at the national finals in Washington, D.C.