Ten finalists – students in grades six through eight – waged a spirited competition answering questions covering all facets of geography in the U.S. and the world before an audience of peers, teachers and administrators for Irvington Middle School’s 11th annual Geography Bee on January 18.
Graham Adams, Matthew Besidski, Mohun Desai, Toby Gordinier, Stuart Graeber, James Heins, Wilson Lark, Findley McRae, Jordan Platt and Andrew Zhou qualified for the competition by earning the highest scores on a written test.
Irvington Middle School Assistant Principal Allyson Daley said, “Their shared passion, curiosity and knowledge about geography is truly impressive.”
Desai, a sixth-grader, was named runner-up, while Adams, an eighth-grader, became the school champion. Adams will take a written test for an opportunity to compete at the statewide National Geographic GeoBee in the spring.
Calling the experience “surreal,” Desai said, “Through each question I sometimes felt nervous but excited. Even though I didn’t win, I still felt proud of myself.”
Adams found the cheers from his friends and fellow contestants motivating.
“You use that momentum from the crowd and think about how much you’ve already achieved while sitting on the podium,” he said.
The National Geographic GeoBee, organized by the National Geographic Society, is designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world around them. Special thanks to Stephen DiGiovanni, Carol LaBella, Christina Mitchell, Jeff Rieck, Deb Scofield, Teri Terrigno and Eve Zeese for their assistance in setting up and facilitating the Bee.