The finals of the annual GeoBee were held this morning at National Geographic Headquarters. At 10 a.m., we stationed ourselves in the cafeteria to watch live feed of the competition. The question set was impressive; the ten finalists impressed, too.
After a first round of questions, Alex Trebek peppered the geo whizzes with questions about themselves. Beyond their geographic knowledge, these young men are also soccer players, pianists, bird watchers, singers of traditional South Indian music, license plate collectors, and would-be composers.
The rounds came fast and were varied in format and content. I especially enjoyed the geotourism round, which defined the concept, explained what it seeks to accomplish, and mentioned a few small outfitters seeking to make a difference such as Mongolia’s Ger to Ger and Three Sisters Adventure Trekking in Nepal.
Next, a roseate spoonbill from Brazil took the stage, followed by individual questions utilizing the hypnotizing Google Earth application.
The toughest round were maps on which a geographic feature was intentionally misplaced, requiring the competitor to identify the error. Whew!
Soon, we were down to the final three: Aadith Moorthy from Florida, Oliver Lucier from Rhode Island, and Karthik Mouli from Idaho. Next, Aadith and Oliver dueled it out over a series of five questions, with 13-year-old eighth grader Aadith grinning with confidence as he claimed the championship by answering the following question correctly:
The largest city in northern Haiti was renamed following Haiti’s independence from France.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
What is the present-day name of this city?
Photo: Megan Seldon