Chase places first in geography bee at WJHS

Post date: Feb 04, 2015 2:30:38 PM

On January 22nd, Wells Junior High School eighth grade student Matt Chase became champion in the school’s annual geography bee, part of the first round in the 27th Annual National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society in Washington. Another eighth grader, Spencer Poulin, became runner-up. This marks the second time that Matt Chase has emerged victorious in this contest, the first time in January of 2013.

As in past years, there were ten student finalists taking on challenging and sometimes obscure questions about geography in front of a large audience consisting of students, parents and school staff in the Ward Gymnasium. Other finalists included Hannah Chase, Covy Dufort, Tori Hayward, Garner Holdsworth, Guss Madsen, Samuel Norbert, Katie Plourde and Wyatt Rowe. The process creating these finalists began earlier this winter with bees held in classrooms followed by a semi-final round.

At the end of March, after passing a national qualifying exam, Chase will be eligible to challenge other junior high schoolers in a state geography bee to be held on a campus of the University of Maine with a location and time to be announced.

Winners of state level competitions are then invited to compete at the National Geography Bee held in May in Washington. The national winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship plus a trip to the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific.

“Our whole school is wishing our school winner Matt Chase, ‘Good Luck!’, commented bee organizer and moderator Bonnie Dill, a Social Studies teacher at WJHS. “I have great confidence in Matt. He has the geographic enthusiasm, the desire, the brainpower and the special skills needed to climb this mountain. Pardon the pun!"

Added this year is a round about animals of the World and another called Pop Stars on Tour. “The kids had fun relating their favorite animals and singers to their geographic knowledge,” commented Dill.

The National Geographic Society sponsors this contest from the local to the national level. The Society provides participating schools with questions, supplies, rules, guidelines and prizes.

All ten participants in the bee at WJHS received a certificate and a Toblerone Swiss chocolate bar. In addition, Chase and Poulin each received a hard cover copy of “Nat Geo Wild Animal Atlas”.

Caption: At left is Matt Chase with teacher Bonnie Dill following this year’s school competition at WJHS in the National Geographic Bee at WJHS.

Caption: From left to right are contestants in the WJHS Geography Bee for 2015: Wyatt Rowe, Covy Dufort, Garner Holdsworth, Katie Plourde, Spencer Poulin (1st Runner-up), Matt Chase (Champion), Tori Hayward, Hannah Chase, Samuel Norbert, and Guss Madsen.