Buzzing Around the World with the Middle School GeoBee

Middle School students showed off their knowledge of our world by participating in our annual geography contest, familiarly called the GeoBee. The divisional competition began back in January, when all fifth through eighth grade students took a pre-test to determine the top eight scores in each grade level. From there, each grade level hosted its own Bee to determine the top two students. On Friday, February 17, these eight students gathered on the stage in Mary Eliot Chapel to compete for the title. Blake Whitney, Middle School History Teacher, organized the event. “Students were tasked with preparing for the bee on their own,” he said, “which really shows their dedication.”

Middle School History Teacher Mike Fitzgerald served as the emcee, firing a series of questions at the contestants. Do you know the answer to these?

  • Chihuahua and Coahuila are two states in what North American country?
  • The Parthenon is an ancient temple on the Acropolis, a hill overlooking which European capital city?
  • Rotterdam lies on a delta near the North Sea in which European country?

Maddie Karr ’27 won the 2023 MICDS GeoBee, successfully answering the question: Tikal, the great Maya city abandoned in the tenth century, is located in which Central American Country?

(All answers are below…can you figure them out without using a globe, atlas, or your phone?)

“I did a little bit of preparation for the GeoBee, including taking online quizzes and playing geography games at home with my family,” said Karr. “My dad is very good at geography, so he was able to help me. I do enjoy learning about geography, and I think it’s cool to be able to know where countries are, and what are the capitals and facts about each country. My favorite part of the world to study is Europe because it’s where my ancestors are from. Being in the GeoBee was a great experience, and I was very nervous going into it, but it was very fun and was a great way to challenge my knowledge of geography.”

Whitney explains that, sadly, there is no next step from here. National Geographic used to sponsor the Bee but dropped it during COVID, and is choosing to funnel resources into other geography education programs. “As a department, we thought it was important to bring it back even if there was no longer a state and national level,” said Whitney. “I have always loved that the GeoBee gives kids a chance to show off their knowledge of geography which sometimes is left in the shadows. All of the students did an amazing job and answered some incredibly tough questions.”

Congratulations to all our finalists and to Maddie Karr ’27 for winning this year’s GeoBee!

Here are the answers to the questions above: