Penner wins school-level 2014 National Geographic Geography Bee Competition

January 29, 2014 (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY) - The results are in and Katelin Penner, an eighth grade student is the winner of 2014 National Geographic Geography Bee at Farragut Middle School. She will find out on March 1st if she will move on to compete at the state-level of the 2014 National Geographic Geography Bee Competition. Every year, thousands of students across the nation participate in the event, which is open to students in grades four through eight. According to the competition’s organizers, the contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography.


The annual event begins with classroom competitions, where students are asked a series of questions covering all facets of geography in the United States and the world. Students who answer seven out of seven questions correctly are invited to compete in the school’s finals, which were held on January 14.


Nine students at Farragut qualified for the school’s finals. They were from the fifth grade Kimberly Rosner; from the seventh grade Hannah Laffer, Jackie Collins, Molly Gouran, Ethan Pochna, and Thomas Silver; and from the eighth grade Liam Kaufman, Skylar Losepovici, Katelin Penner and Sam Rabinowitz.


The winner of the school-level competition, Katelin Penner,  then took a written multiple choice exam to find out if she will qualify to move on to the state-level of competition in Albany to be held on April 4th. Thomas Silver placed second, and Hannah Laffer placed third in Farragut’s finals.


“Most questions at the school-level were easy for me, but on the state qualifying test they were more challenging,” explained Katelin. “Those questions ended up touching on subjects that weren’t just pure geography, but had a relationship to it such as earth science and ancient history questions.”


This isn’t the first time Katelin made it to the school’s finals. When she was in the sixth grade she came in fourth place. Asked if she did any special preparations, she explained that the National Geographic Geography Bee has a website that displays a new online quiz every day. She took the quiz often as practice.


Katelin says she has always had a special interest in how the world is structured and how land forms were created. She has looked forward to participating in the competition every year she has been at Farragut. Her favorite subjects are language arts and social studies. Geography at the middle school is included in the social studies curriculum.


Are you a geography buff? Here are some sample questions and the answers.



The North Atlantic current brings warm waters from the tropics to the west coast of which continent?

From studying physical maps you know that the North Atlantic is the area of the Atlantic that lies north of the Equator and that the entire west coast of Europe borders the North Atlantic, so you correctly answer Europe.

What is the term for a part of an ocean or sea that cuts far into the bordering landmass and may contain one or more bays?

From studying physical features on maps and using your geographical reference book to learn about physical features, you narrow your choices to two terms: bay and gulf. Since the word "bay" is used in the question, you eliminate it as a possibility and correctly answer gulf.

Which Canadian province produces more than half of the country's manufactured goods?

Even if you haven't studied profiles of Canadian provinces, you know from your mental maps that Ontario borders all of the Great Lakes and has access to the St. Lawrence Seaway. This puts it in a better position than any other Canadian province to import materials needed for manufacturing and to export finished goods. So you correctly answer Ontario.

To visit the ruins of Persepolis, an ancient ceremonial capital of Persia, you would have to travel to what present-day country?

From history books or from studying country profiles, you know that Persia is the former name of Iran, so you correctly answer Iran.


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