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May 15, 2013 10:25 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Two TUSD students' map drawings head to international competition

TUCSON- Azea Oliva and Francisco Monares-Leon have never traveled outside the United States.

But the ten year old TUSD students seem to know a lot about the world. "The world is a puzzling place," Monares-Leon says. "You never know what's going to happen."

That puzzling nature was the inspiration for a drawing of a world-map Monares-Leon recently put together in the Gifted and Talented Education program. "I made a puzzle piece with the world inside it," Monares-Leon says.

Oliva also drew a world map, using pastels and markers. It shows two hands wrapped around the globe, trying to make the earth more beautiful. "If we don't clean up it's going to look like we're living in a big garbage pile," Oliva says.

After spending the year learning about global cultures and geography, their teacher, Kevan Kiser-Chuc submitted the drawings to the "Barbara Petchenik Children's Map Competition" sponsored by National Geographic.

The bi-annual competition was created by the International Cartographic Association (ICA) in 1993 as a memorial for Barbara Petchenik, a past Vice President of the ICA and cartographer who had a lifelong interest in maps for children.

This year's theme was "My Place in the World". "There are a lot of critical issues that are common to all of us," Kiser-Chuc says. "We need to understand the humanity of others and not just ourselves."

The drawings of Oliva and Monares-Leon are two of just six finalists from the U.S. that will now head to the international competition in Germany in August.

They are trying to raise enough money to attend the competition.

If you would like to help out, email Kevan Kiser-Chuc at kevan.kiser-chuc@tusd1.org or call her at (520) 661-7262

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