A Missoula 8th grader will represent Montana at the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.
The 14-year-old St. Joseph Catholic School student took the 2012 state title in Billings. From world capitals to tropic winds, the new champ's a quick study in the world around her.
When they read the question that gave Rosie McCormack the title, she'd remembered she'd heard it before, from her 6th grade teacher, two years ago.
Bob Byrne recalls what he asked his students. "What is the pattern of winds between the equator and ten degrees north and ten degrees south?"
McCormack says she had to think about it for a second. Pointing to her head she said, she was "searching the archives."
There were a few butterflies. But the archives are sharp. The answer was "the doldrums."
The doldrums answer gave the teenager first place. She had beaten nine boys, including the second place finisher, Matthew Wolsky, a 12-year-old Corvallis Middle School student.
St. Joseph teacher Kelly Garrett taught Rosie a few tricks. The teacher laughs and asks her old student, "what's the only city to lie on two continents?"
Rosie starts singing the popular old swing style tune. "It's Istanbul, not Constantinople. It's Istanbul not Constantinople."
Larry Mansch teaches Rosie social studies. "Everybody at St. Joe's is behind her," said Mansch.
Her dad and twin brother both love geography. Her mom said her daughter was always intrigued on family road trips.
They would drive from the family's old home in Wisconsin to Montana and Wyoming. They saw Mt. Rushmore. They saw the national parks.
There will be more travel this May when the state geographic champ checks out D.C. at the National Bee.