‘Twas the Night Before Bee Day…

It is almost here!  We are busily working to welcome our 2015 qualifiers for the North Carolina Geographic Bee.  Get a good night’s rest and we will see you in the morning.

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It’s Bee Season 2015!!!

It is that time of year again!!  Basketball is heating up and so are our geographic competitors for the state-level National Geography Bee.  This year we have a brand new website (courtesy of National Geographic) that contains all of the pertinent information regarding this year’s competition, which takes place on March 27 at UNC Charlotte.  The new website can be accessed via this link.  The website is the main channel of information for participants, parent and teachers as we will no longer be communicating via the postal service.

Results of the 2014 North Carolina State Finals of the National Geographic Bee

We had a wonderful competition yesterday and I am pleased to announce our top 3 winners:

Winning third place, a Compact Atlas of the World and a $50 award is Joshua Broome, a fifth grader from the Charlotte Home Educators Association based in Mooresville.  Winning second place, a Compact Atlas of the World and a $75 award is Bo Johnson, a seventh grader from Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte. 

And winning first place, a Compact Atlas of the World and a $100 award is Sravya Kuchibhotla, a seventh grader from Davis Drive MIddle School in Cary.  As state champion, Sravya will represent North Carolina at the national finals of the Bee in Washington, D.C. in May. 

This year’s competition was particularly stiff.  After the preliminary rounds, 15 participants vied for the 10 finalist spots.  We went through 9 tie-breaker questions (a record in my experience as state coordinator!!).  The top 10 finalists this year were:

  • Joshua Broome, Charlotte Home Educators Association
  • Ankit Jajoo, Jay M Robinson Middle School
  • Benjamin Johnson, North Buncombe Middle School
  • Bo Johnson, Trinity Episcopal School
  • Sravya Kuchibhotla, Davis Drive Middle School
  • William Morillo, Martin Middle School
  • Sawyer Moseley, High Point Home Educators
  • Nathaniel Place, Ridgecroft School
  • Adam Pohlman, Triangle Math and Science Academy
  • John Robert Vance, Voyager Academy

National Geographic Bee — Washington, DC — Day 2

I am at the Washington Plaza Hotel on Thomas Circle.  We are less than a mile from the National Geographic Society’s headquarters.  The preliminary rounds will be starting shortly—there is a lot of anticipatory energy flowing around the lobby.  Listening to various conversations this morning, I am reminded of why I this Bee is so important to geography education.  The learning that takes place in preparation for the Bee is not rote memorization.  Successful participants do not memorize atlases.  They learn about and understand space, how space is represented and how to reason about spatial relationships.  According to Joseph Kerski, these elements are at the heart of spatial thinking skills.  Furthermore, students need to focus on more content areas than “just” place name geography—comprehensive knowledge about human, physical and regional geography is necessary for successful Bee participants.

Perhaps my biggest take-away this morning is that we should not equate the Geography Bee with trivia — geographic knowledge and thinking is hardly trivial.