Kids News Prime Minister's Spelling Bee: Winners put ScoMo's knowledge to the test

Asia's Tech News Daily

The best young spellers in the country have put Scott Morrison’s knowledge to the test with some tricky questions – and they even managed to catch him out.

Theekshitha Karthik, 12, Arielle Wong, 10 and 13-year-old Evan Luc-Tran were named the inaugural champs for the age groups in the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee earlier this year.

Part of their prize, which also included iPads and books, was getting to meet the Prime Minister in Parliament House.

On Monday, this finally happened after having to be rescheduled due to Covid three times.

“I hope they’re not going to get me to spell anything,” Mr Morrison joked before he sat down with them for a chat.

But his spelling knowledge was soon put to the test.

Evan, a Year 8 student at The McDonald College in Sydney’s inner west, asked him to spell leukocyte, which means white blood cells.

“I’ll give you the hardest word I had to experience,” he said.

Kids News Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee: Winners put ScoMo’s knowledge to the test

Camera IconPrime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the spelling bee champs Arielle Wong, 10, Theekshitha Karthik, 12, and Evan Luc-Tran, 13. Adam Taylor Credit: Supplied

The Prime Minister got two letters in before Evan jumped in to correct him.

Theekshitha asked Mr Morrison to spell pariah, which he got right.

Then Arielle asked him to spell chortle – a noisy laugh – which he also stumbled on.

“Just as well I’ve got you guys here to help me,” Mr Morrison said.

Theekshitha, who is in Year 6 at Haileybury College in Melbourne, also asked the Prime Minister how he managed his mental health throughout the pandemic.

Kids News Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee: Winners put ScoMo’s knowledge to the test

Camera IconNational winner of the Prime Minister's Spelling Bee competition Evan Luc-Tran asked the Prime Minister to spell leukocyte. Toby Zerna Credit: News Corp Australia

“From time to time, you’ve got to do things which enable you to take a bit of time off,” he said, noting one thing he liked to do was cook curry for his family.

The spelling bee event, which is run by Kids News and News Corp Australia, had 21,000 students from across 490 schools sign up for the first event held in June.

News Corp’s community ambassador Penny Fowler revealed a second spelling bee competition would be held next year in Term 3.

Registrations are planned to open on July 25 next year.

Kids News Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee: Winners put ScoMo’s knowledge to the test

Camera IconEducation Minister Alan Tudge and Scott Morrison with the winners of the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee competition. Adam Taylor Credit: Supplied

“The idea for the spelling bee is a natural extension for News Corp Australia’s education site Kids News and our commitment to boost childhood literacy,” Ms Fowler said.

“A love of reading is one of the most important gifts we can impart on our children.

“Anyone who has ever faced the challenge of a spelling bee will understand they not only help improve spelling – but they are tremendous fun too.”

Kids News Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee: Winners put ScoMo’s knowledge to the test

Camera IconTheekshitha Karthik asked the Prime Minister how he had coped throughout the pandemic. Jason Edwards Credit: News Corp Australia

Education Minister Alan Tudge said the competition had encouraged thousands of kids to learn new words.

“These guys are sensational and they’re so bright and know words which I hadn’t even heard of,” he said.

Victorian students Theekshitha and Arielle, who is in Year 4 at Donvale Christian College, were flown to Canberra with their families by Qantas as part of their prize.

Kids News Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee: Winners put ScoMo’s knowledge to the test

Camera IconArielle Wong won the Year 3-4 category of the competition. Wayne Taylor Credit: News Corp Australia

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