Parkway Student, Sam Copenhaver, Advances to State Competition in Geographic Bee

Published Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Sixth grader Samuel Copenhaver of Parkway School has qualified as a semifinalist for the state level competition of the National Geographic Bee.

Natalie Willis, Parkway’s AIG (Advanced and Intellectually Gifted) teacher and the coordinator of the Geographic Bee at Parkway, praised Samuel for his hard work and his achievement. “Ask any of his classmates and they will concur that since last year’s Bee, Sam carried around an atlas or other geography reference material and would study throughout the day. He won the school level Bee through self- motivation, determination, and preparation. I am proud of him in so many ways!”

Samuel C.Samuel also won Parkway’s Bee last year but did not advance to the state level. He now becomes the second Parkway student in the last three years to qualify for the state competition, an honor awarded to no more than 100 students out of over 500,000 in the eligible grades.

The favorite subject of Parkway’s champion is social studies. He was appropriately excited to learn that he made it to state competition. “My dad got an e-mail about it when he was upstairs, and when he told me about it, I ran up the stairs yelling.”

Geographic Bees are open to fourth through eighth grade students in participating schools throughout the state. After winning the Bee at Parkway, Samuel, along with other school champions from across NC, had to excel in an online test to qualify for state competition. Samuel says that the test had 60 questions and he completed them in about 45 minutes.

The National Geographic Bee for NC will be held Friday, April 1 in Charlotte. After the state events are completed nationwide, each state champion will advance to national competition May 22-25 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. Each state champion will receive a $100 prize, the National Geographic book The National Parks: An Illustrated History, and a medal. Transportation and accommodations for the Washington, D.C. trip are provided for each state champion.

The national champion wins a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. The national champion will also travel (along with one parent or guardian) on a Lindblad expedition to Southeast Alaska aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

The final round of the 28th annual National Geographic Bee Championship will be moderated by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca and televised on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m.

If you’d like to try your hand at the questions students faced at the school level Geographic Bees this year, here are a few examples. To fish in Lake Winnipesaukee and ski near Franconia Notch, you would travel to which state—New Hampshire or South Dakota? (New Hampshire) Mangrove Sea kayakers can explore hundreds of islands off the Dalmatian coast of which European country south of Slovenia? (Croatia) For centuries, the Chinese emperors lived in seclusion in the Forbidden City, which is located within what present-day city? (Beijing)

Parkway School has a total enrollment of 515 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school’s students significantly outperform statewide averages on the state’s required tests for reading, mathematics, and science.



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