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7th Grader’s World Knowledge Earns Him Trip to State Competition


If you close your eyes and listen to Seth Sikes, you might believe you’re talking to a well-read high school student. He uses words like “novice” and “regimen”, but Seth is 13 and mature beyond his years. The seventh grader from Byrd Middle School will represent Duncanville ISD at the state geography bee on Friday.

Seth remembers the question that helped him win the Duncanville ISD Geography Bee.

“I was asked what were the islands of Falster and Sjaellajnd, what European nation were they included in,” Seth said.

Denmark happens to be surrounded by more than 400 islands. Somehow, Seth knew the answer.  When asked how he drew that obscure fact from his memory, Seth demurred.

 “Well, a magician never reveals his tricks,” Seth said.

Seth developed an interest in geography in the second grade. He said he can pick up an atlas and read it cover to cover. When preparing for a competition, he studies several hours per week.

“I want to learn as much as humanly possible to gain the biggest edge I can against my competitors,” Seth said.

The 13-year-old’s long-term goals include attending Michigan Tech University to earn a doctorate in vehicle design.

“I would love to design muscle cars for the Ford automobile company,” Seth said.

He also dreams of taking an extended European vacation to visit Germany, the Czech Republic and many other places most kids his age couldn’t locate on a map.

This week, Seth’s goal is to place in the top three competitors at the state contest so he can qualify for nationals.

If he won the National Geography Bee?

“Like any kid, I’d be euphoric,” Seth said.