Emilie Lapouble Wins Middle School’s National Geographic GEOBEE

William Rath
On Wednesday, December 11, students in grades four through eight competed in the annual National Geographic GEOBEE. Winning this title is big, because the winner can earn a medal and a scholarship toward college. The students looked very anxious before the event started, and the audience could not wait to see what unfolded.
Mr. Paul Quick, Middle School Dean, moderated and Mrs. Rachel Adams served as the event’s judge. Ten students were competing and included Keira Seaney and Cooper Stebbins, fourth-grade; Xavier Quinones and Emilie Lapouble, fifth-grade; Paolo de Fabrique Saint Tours and Addyson Thomas, sixth-grade; Ali Cheema and Evy DeClercq, seventh-grade; and Lenny Polcaro and Hannah Lindberg, eighth-grade.
The students were asked questions about the United States in the first round. Each student answered one question which proved to be challenging as many students were stumped on questions about the Black Rock desert, Plymouth Rock, Hurricane Michael, Western Terminus, Camp David, and the Mississippi River. Each student had two chances to stay in the competition, but were eliminated if more than one question was wrong. The multiple-choice impact question came next – about the red wolf’s region in the U.S. While many students thought it lived in the tundra region, the correct answer was the wetland region – which eliminated five students to leave five remaining.
The next set of questions asked about the oceans and the continents of the world. The five students did well, knowing answers to questions about the Marshall Islands, Australia, and Europe. The questions got tougher and only four students remained after this round. Now down to four contestants, the next questions asked about the Indian Ocean, the coral reef in Australia, and the Pacific Ocean. Another student was eliminated, leaving three – fifth-grade student Emilie Lapouble, seventh-grade student Ali Cheema, and eighth-grade student Hannah Lindberg. The next question was a map-reading skill question displayed on the projection board, which all three students answered correctly, advancing them to the final round.
The first round of final round questions was very difficult, and all three students answered their first questions incorrectly. The second round of questions eliminated Ali, earning him third place overall in the GEOBEE. The final two students, Emilie and Hannah moved on to the Championship round which consisted of three questions with the winner answering the most questions correctly. Emilie led the first round, and only needed one final question to win. The second question was in which Swedish city does climate change activist Greta Thunberg do business? Emilie was spot on, immediately responding with the correct answer of Stockholm to sweep the final round three to zero, clinching the Championship. Hannah was a tough competitor, but Emilie proved that she knows her geography!
Congratulations to the top three contestants, third place contestant Ali Cheema, second place contestant Hannah Lindberg, and winner Emilie Lapouble. The win earns Emilie the opportunity to take the online State qualifying test in hopes of qualifying to participate in the State competition in March 2020. Emilie was very impressive, and if she knows all of this information now, imagine how much she will know when she is a senior!
Congratulations to all contestants who participated in the GEOBEE. It was a tough competition, but all students did very well!