Alma Middle School students competed in the National Geographic Geography Bee on Jan. 31. The National Geographic Geobee is a competition that is held all across the United States. The competition begins at the school level with a teacher administering questions to the students. The students sat at their desks and anxiously waited for their name to be called to answer a question. Some of them clinging to good luck charms that they brought from home. The questions ranged from cities in the U.S. to the locations of small Middle Eastern countries.
The competition started with 18 students and as they were knocked out round after round the questions began to increase in difficulty. Eventually, only two students were left. Landen Coursey and Kyle Boen were the last students in the competition. The two were obviously friends as they joked about being each other’s emotional support throughout the competition. The last question was presented to the two boys and the time to answer finally came. They read their answers aloud and after a moment of silence Coursey was named the victor.
First place was awarded to Coursey, second place to Boen, and third place ended in a tie between students Taylor Gil and David Silva. The school champion is awarded a medal and a certificate and will qualify to move onto the state championship. Qualifying for the state championship requires a completion of a test that will decide if the student will be able to join the 99 other students across the state that will compete against each other. The state champions will then move onto the national championship.
In 2019, the national champion received a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. State Geobee will be held on March 27.