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2nd Annual Comal ISD Geography Bee, Underway

About 70 middle school students in the Comal Independent School District are competing for the honor of being named the champion of their campus Geography Bee.

Ten students from each of Comal ISD’s seven middle schools qualified to compete in their campus’ Geography Bee after taking a district qualifying test, explained Patricia Nieto, the district’s social studies/world languages curriculum coordinator.

Comal Independent School District’s 2nd Annual Geography Bee campus winners for Mountain Valley Middle School include from left, in second place, Caroline Feucht; first place, Eliana Molina; and third place, Sophia Balderas. All three are sixth grade students

The competition includes a final and championship round with a “spelling bee” format. The final round comes down to two competitors who square off with a clean slate in the championship round. The championship round determines the one student who will take the online qualifying test to compete for the Texas Geography Bee, scheduled for March 29 in Bedford, Texas.

“We began the Geography Bee last year to spark interest and motivate students to learn more about the world,” Nieto said. “Currently, all students in Grade 6 World Cultures classrooms are given the district qualifying test to determine the top 10 performing students to compete at the Campus Geography Bee.”

Sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the GeoBee, as it is known, was developed in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.

Questions cover geography, cultures, physical features, history and earth science. Here’s an example of a few questions from the district’s qualifying test.
  • The Danube River flows through the cities of Vienna and Budapest on which continent?
  • Nine Yankee baseball stadiums could fit inside the Mall of the Americas. The Mall of the America is just south of Minneapolis in which state that borders Wisconsin?
  • Which state has a longer coastline? A. Maine or B. Rhode Island
“Middle school students are still forming their worldview and studying geography provides a contextual foundation for learning about their world through their social studies class and also through connections with other classrooms,” Nieto said.