The National Geographic Bee (or informally, the Geobee) local final rounds were held on Jan. 8 at Sullivans Elementary School. The first place winner will now take a written examination to qualify for advancement in the worldwide competition.
This year’s first and second place winners were Madison McCartney (grade 5) and Kenshin Dean (grade 5). Josiah De For took first place in the Home School division. Josiah and Madison each get a trophy for their accomplishments. National Geo Bee T-shirts were award to all three competitors, and National Geographic books were awarded to the top eight finalists. This year’s prizes were donated by the Sullivans PTO.
The Geobee is an annual geographic contest for American elementary and middle-school students. The Geobee, held every year since 1989, is open to students in the fourth through eighth grade in participating American schools. More than four million students a year begin the geography competition locally by competing for a spot in the finals, which culminates in a national competition of the winners from each state every May in Washington, D.C. Alex Trebek has moderated the final round since the competition began twenty-six years ago.
At Sullivans, fourth and fifth grade students answered questions in the opening round by tuning in their classroom televisions as Mr. Calvin Grosshuesch, Sullivans’ Geobee sponsor for the last 18 years, read out 30 questions over SSN, The Sullivans School Network. SSN is a student-staffed school television network at the Sullivans. The top 28 scores, competed at an assembly in the Sullivans Multipurpose Room on Dec. 18. From that Pool, seven fifth graders and one fourth grader competed in the School’s final round on Jan. 8.
The questions, even at the beginning level are quite challenging. For example, one of the first round questions was, “Kangaroo Island, south of the Yorke Penninsula is the third largest island in what country?”. Another question from the second round of competition was, “The Somali Basin lies off the east coast of which continent?”.
Grosshuesch stated he enjoys sponsoring the Geobee because, “Every year I learn something new…and I always wanted to be Alex Trebek.
By the way, the answers to the above 2 questions were Australia and Africa, respectively. So study up on your orology and your eremology, don’t neglect your geography, and you could win the next Geobee! Or if you’re too old to qualify, perhaps you can impress your friends at your next Trivial Pursuit party.