Sixth grade student Matt Chase won the 2013 Geographic Bee at Wells Junior High School held on January 11th. After surviving many rounds of challenging questions, Chase emerged the winner by knowing that ‘Philadelphia’ is the large US city located at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.
This contest is one of thousands to be held at the local level of the National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C.
In Wells, eighth grade student Nick Hansen was the First Runner-Up. Hansen will now serve as Chase’s back-up at the state Geographic Bee to be held at one of the campuses of the University of Maine in early spring. Winners of state level competitions are invited to compete nationally in Washington in May.
“These are hard,” said Chase at one point about this year’s questions. “Even for a geographer like me.’ Chase was among 10 finalists to compete last year at WJHS.
Attending the morning bee was the entire student body of WJHS. According to Social Studies teacher and organizer of the bee Bonnie Dill, there were four finalist rounds, one championship round and two tie breaker rounds.
This contest is open to junior high students in schools throughout all United States, District of Columbia and in Department of Defense schools. At WJHS the contest begins with geography bees in various classrooms. After that, there are semi-final rounds that produce the final 10 participants.
The National Geographic Society provides participating schools with questions, supplies, rules, guidelines, and prizes. From this national contest, the Society hopes to encourage interest in the subject of Geography.
Dill, who was also the announcer of the bee, listed other school staff members who helped with the event. They include Lynn Mercier (judge and scorer), Susie Dugovic (judge and scorer), and Renee Savage (time keeper).
Chase and Hansen each received a National Parks Quarter Collecting Adventure Kit while all contestants received a Swiss chocolate Toblerone bar and a certificate. Participants at the state level receive t-shirts.
Caption: Seated in top row from left to right: Winner Matt Chase, Brandon Tweed (8th grade), Courtland Austin (8th), Richard Patnaude (8th), and First Runner-Up Nick Hansen (8th). Kneeling in front row from left to right are Anya Chase (7th), Drake Dewhurst (6th), James Crothers (6th) and Noah Boucher (7th). Missing from photo is Guss Madsen (5th).