Seattle Country Day (SCDS) 7th grader, Griffin Maes, tied for 8th place in the 2018 Washington State National Geographic Bee held on Friday, April 6, 2018 at Pacific Lutheran University. Maes completed against 96 other fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout Washington State. "Griffin is part of a cohort of seventh-grade boys who enjoy challenging themselves to expand their knowledge of geography," Grades 7-8 Social Studies Teacher Mary Lowry said. "...Griffin has an aptitude for connecting facts and making connections that help him to understand things at a deeper level. Plus, he likes studying geography!"
The statewide event is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 30th year. National Geographic Bees were held in individual schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout states nationwide to determine each school champion. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society in order to qualify for the statewide competition.
SCDS has participated in the National Geographic Bee for approximately 25 years and the school has traditionally had a student qualify for the state-level bee. "I think the geography bee requires a level of awareness across many disciplines. It isn't just rote memorization, although that is necessary to be successful. Kids who enjoy reading about history, archaeology, and earth science topics—as well as staying abreast of current events—usually do well with these types of competitions..." Lowry explained. "Students who are composed under pressure also do well, because you have to answer on the spot and have the resilience to be wrong in front of an audience made up mostly of their peers. It also gives younger students the chance to compete against older students, which can be a confidence builder."