From July 11-16, students from around the world put their geo-literacy to the test at the 9th National Geographic World Championship in Mexico City. For five days, the students faced each other and answered questions read by host Alec Trebek, with Canada coming out on top for the second time since the championship began in 1993.
The first international geography contest was organized by NGS in 1993 and was held at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Since then, competitions have been held at a diverse range of locations around the world. Teams are determined through regional and national competitions in participating countries. In the United States, representatives are chosen from among the finalists of the National Geographic Bee, a competition held each year for students grades 4-8 with a capstone $25,000 scholarship award.
This year, the United States, Poland and Canada competed in the final round on July 15. The Canadian winners were Chris Chiavatti of British Columbia, Peter Brandt of Manatoba and Graham Tompkins of Nova Scotia. The Americans, Kenji Golimlim, Milan Sandhu and Eric Yang, took the silver. According to president of NGS John Fahey, the competition “was a great way for talented young geographers around the world to match wits against each other and to enjoy a rewarding cross-cultural exchange.”
So what kinds of questions are these students asked? The variety is nothing short of the questions Trebek would ask of participants of his Jeopardy!. In 2007, winner Caitlin Snaring of Washington was asked to name the Vietnamese city that is divided by a river and was the imperial capitol for over one hundred years. Think you have what it takes to be a geography champion? Try National Geographic’s GeoBee Challenge. Interested in competing? Check out the rules and regulations for the GeoBee, and, if you don’t qualify, there are plenty of national geography competitions out there. Geography is fun, interesting and addictive!
Still curious? Check out this video of the United States GeoBee’s winning round.
Melissa for My Wonderful World