BRADEN RIVER — Braden River Middle School students Spencer Schmidt and John Lin share an affinity for history and may even quiz each other on the subject.
But June 1, the teenagers will look at one another not as schoolmates or friends, but as competitors.
The students will represent Manatee County Public Schools as they compete in the National History Bee’s National Championship, in Atlanta.
“It’s a competition to see how much you know — to see how you compare to other kids,” Spencer said.
Both youths enjoy reading and learning about past civilizations. Spencer said his favorite part of history is the fact that each civilization had its own strengths.
“People are always improving, so history is always improving,” John added. “People learn more.”
Spencer and John both prefer to study alone but have quizzed each other during class to better prepare for competition.
Both say they are excited about the opportunity to test their academic skills. And, although Spencer admits he likes to keep to himself, John said he is eager to meet other students from throughout the country, as well.
“There will be a lot of people,” he said. “It should be cool (making new) friends — make the best of it.”
Both youths said they are eager to advance in the competition, but they agreed they would not be heartbroken if they get eliminated in the first round.
“It’s an accomplishment just to get to nationals,” John said.
Contact Pam Eubanks at email@example.com.
Spencer Schmidt, 13
Hobbies: Reading and baseball
Favorite person in history: Ashoka, emperor of the Maurya Dynasty. “He went from being a dictator to a peaceful ruler,” Spencer says.
John lin, 13
Hobbies: Piano, violin and karate
Favorite person in history: Charlemagne, first emperor in Western Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
He was ambitious,” John says.