Expo for homeschoolers puts focus on geography


Photo Gallery: Sixth Annual Geography Expo

PITTSFIELD -- How to make Laotian sticky rice.

How cork is harvested in Portugal. What Costa Ricans call themselves (Ticos and Ticas).

A walk through the Berkshire Athenaeum's Community room on Wednesday night provided a world of international knowledge.

Approximately 40 local homeschoolers exhibited projects on various countries, states and regions as part of the sixth annual Geography Expo, sponsored by the Berkshire County Homeschool Community and Berkshire County 4-H.

"This is the [homeschool] version of an assembly," said Elaine Caliguiri, of Lee, an organizer and parent. "It gives the grandparents a chance to participate. Community is what it's all about."

International trivia was in abundance at the event.

The average Papua New Guinean eats more than 1,000 pounds of sweet potatoes per year, making the country the world's highest per capita consumer of sweet potatoes.

Main ingredients in the famous Scottish dish haggis include the minced offal of sheep, pig or cow mixed with suet, onions, oatmeal, spices and seasoning. And, Scotland is voting on whether the country should be independent on Sept. 14.

Along with posterboards and other props, many students and parents had also prepared signature dishes ranging like Mexican corn masa, Greek baklava and German kielbasa.

Putting together a display on Italy, said Wendy Thomson, proved a family affair.

For about a month, she and her three children Dylan, 10, Ashley, 9, and Kaitlyn, 7, watched documentaries and YouTube videos on Italy, read up on the founding of Venice and studied the present political landscape.

"It just kind of grew," Thomson said.

Dylan said his favorite tidbit he learned while fixating on Italy was how Romans protested the country's first McDonald's when it landed in 1986.

Thousands gathered in protest, and "the restaurant owners cooked them all spaghetti to remind them of Italy's roots," Dylan said.

To reach Phil Demers:
or (413) 281-2859.
On Twitter: @BE_PhilD


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