By Lenny Dale, Geography Bee Host
The Emerson Geography Bee was held on Friday, as 19 intrepid 4th through 8th grade students pitted their knowledge against each other and the questions that National Geographic Society threw before them.
There were seven rounds of questions in the preliminaries, and eight kids came through with perfect scores. For the six who missed only one question, there was a series of tie-breaker questions to determine the other two contestants to fill out the group of 10 that would move on to the ‘finals’. Veda Diptiman, Liam Coolican, Anshi Pacha, and Terence Ashorth gave it their best, but it was Maya Mustata and Austin Zeglis who made it to the next level, joining defending two-time champion Casey Lewis, along with Milin Macha, Erik Johnson, Henry Branch, Mert Oral, Julian Toogood, Diego Del Rio, and Lukas Jonsson.
Diego, Julian, Mert, Austin and Milin were first to fall, reducing the finalists by half. Casey was next, ending his reign as Emerson’s geography royalty. Fourth grader Maya outlasted 5th grader Erik in an impressive battle for 3rd place, leaving Lukas and Henry to go at it in the championship round. In the three-question round, both nailed the first two questions, but the final question, a tough one about protecting animals from poaching in Africa, stumped Henry, but didn’t phase Lukas, and Lukas emerged as this year’s champion.
Lukas now has the pleasure of taking a written test, in an attempt to qualify for the state bee, held at the end of March, with an eye toward the national bee in May.