Geography knowledge put to the test


PRUNTYTOWN—Could you name areas of the world without the help of the map? Are you a whiz when it comes to naming far off lands? Recently students from Taylor County Middle School put their geography knowledge to the test during the annual National Geographic Geography bee.

According to Eighth Grade West Virginia Studies Teacher Lindsay Stepanek, 31 students in fifth-eighth grades were eligible to move on as their classroom geography bee winners.

Those students then had the opportunity to compete for one of 10 spots in the final school bee.

“Each of these students took a written test to qualify for the 10 open spots,” Stepanek shared.

After the test was completed, the top ten students were named.

In the sixth grade, Jaylin Summers, Michael Newbraugh, and Dylan Gutshall made the cut off. In seventh grade, Michael “MJ” Niggemyer, Ethan Weaver and Maximillian Bracero made the list.

Eighth Graders Cole Lambert, Joslin Workman, Justin Gainer and Alex Himes were also among the top ten competitors during this year’s geography bee.

Once named, the top ten students then put their thinking caps on and competed in multiple rounds of questions that tested their world geography knowledge.

The school-level competition is the first round in the geography bee, a competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. 

“Questions cover not only geography, but also cultures, physical features, history and earth science,” she explained.

After the grueling test was completed, three students were named as this year’s geography bee winners.

This year’s third place winner was Alex Himes, and Justin Gainer took the second-place spot.

For the first time ever, MJ Niggemyer claimed the top spot in the school-wide competition.

“He will take a test in the next week to attempt to qualify for the state National Geographic Bee in March,” Stepanek revealed.

From the staff at the Mountain Statesman, congratulations to each of this year’s winners!

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