The Unalaska City School National Geography Bee final competition was held in the UCSD auditorium last Tuesday, January 16th at 10:30am. This year, the moderator was first-year UCSD History teacher, Mr. Mike Price. There were ten contestants ranging from fifth to eighth grade.
The first portion of the competition takes place in each individual classroom prior to the assembly, so Tuesdays event began with the “Final Round.” In this round, each student was asked a unique question about the United States. The questions proved to be challenging and nine of the ten contestants answered incorrectly.
Next, each student was asked to respond to an identical question and write his or her answer on a white board. The moderator then asked contestants to name the first state in which one could view the total solar eclipse that took place last August. One student was able to identify the correct state: Oregon.
Eight out of the ten students were eliminated after incorrectly answering two questions and the remaining two contestants, Bao Nguyen and Katie Dirks proceeded to the Championship Round.
Questions in the Champion Round varied from the Seikan Tunnel in Japan to the Mississippi River to the South American coast. After a series of incorrect answers, both contestants were asked which continent holds the largest area of land in the Tropics. Bao correctly answered, “Africa,” and took the 2018 UCSD National Geography Bee title.
As the winner, Bao will be required to complete a qualifying test, which, if passed, will provide her the opportunity to travel to Anchorage to compete in the Alaska State Geography Bee as the representative for Unalaska. The winner of Alaska’s chapter of the Bee will then proceed to the National Geography Bee for a chance to win a $50,000 scholarship from National Geographic. Good luck, Bao!