On Saturday, January 7, local homeschool students competed at the GRHE-sponsored National Geographic Geography Bee. Caleb Yarbrough of Blue Ridge became the tournament champion by correctly answering the question, “Name the Asian country at the eastern edge of the South China Sea that includes about 7,100 islands. The answer is the Philippines. Jesse Wood of Troutville was this year’s runner up. The other competitors were Benjamin Kester, Jonathan Karbach, Henry Hurt, Khean Mikkelson, Phoebe Hurt, Hannah Scott, and Tessa Yarbrough.
Caleb, age 13, has competed in the Geography Bee for the past three years. He studied using online flashcards at freeworldu.org. Caleb enjoys geography, especially how it relates to history. However, Caleb does more than study geography- he also likes theater and is active in his Boy Scout troop. Caleb hopes to compete at the Virginia state-level bee this April.
In the National Geographic Geography Bee, or GeoBee, students answer questions in a series of rounds. Not all the questions are difficult, for example, “The Wright brothers launched the world’s first successful motor-powered airplane in 1903 on the sandy shore of which state—North Carolina or Maine?” (The answer is North Carolina).
The GeoBee has three levels: local, state, and national. Only 100 local champions from across Virginia qualify for the state competition based on the results of a 70-question test. The state champion qualifies for the national tournament in Washington DC to compete for scholarships.
Roanoke area homeschoolers in grades 4-8 are eligible to compete in the annual GRHE local competition.
Submitted by David Norton