Hampton student qualifies for state geography bee, finals will be held online due to outbreak

Friday, March 20, 2020 | 11:00 PM


Rowan Clary, an eighth-grader from Hampton school district, has qualified for the National Geographic Geography Bee at the state-level.

She was one of 100 students across Pennsylvania who was selected based on her performance on a qualifying test, according to Jay D’Ambrosio, an eighth-grade social studies teacher instructor at the middle school.

Thousands of students from across the United States compete to be in the National Geographic GeoBee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society, according to the online summary on the geography competition.

The process to compete started right in Hampton’s classrooms.

The geography bee is given to students in grades sixth through eighth in all history classes, so everyone has an opportunity to participate, said Rowan, 13. A winner is named for each class.

After that, those students compete against other people who were the winners of their class. Two students from each grade then moved onto the school-wide geography bee. Then, the qualifying test came in order to move onto the state-wide competition, said Rowan.

Those winners took the online test that would qualify for the state-wide competition.

Rowan prepared by using online packets that were available to print to review, as well as using an app to quiz herself on geography and world capitals.

The online test had approximately 70 multiple-choice questions about various locations and their characteristics, said Rowan.

As she moves to study for the State GeoBee on March 27 she said she’ll continue using the quiz app, and Google Slides from previous class geography bee competitions.

Since geography is a preferred subject to her, she already was ahead of the game.

“I have been interested since fourth grade and learned all of the flags of the world during fifth grade. I’m not sure exactly where the interest started, but I remember learning various names of countries and memorizing where they were on the globe. I also found an interest in learning about different climates and, thus, becoming aware of the regions of the world,” said Rowan.

In addition to geography, Rowan started participating and competing with her middle school’s winter colorguard team just this year. And she has also played baritone/euphonium in band since sixth grade. She plans to participate in the high school’s marching band next year.

“I am interested in science and anthropology, and am skilled at writing,” added Rowan.

Her mother, Lena, said Rowan is a dedicated learner, especially for things she enjoys.

“I think that Rowan is one of those kids who, when she discovers an interest and really sets her mind toward learning something, is determined to learn it deeply and thoroughly,” said Lena, who is also a teacher in the district.

The state geography bee was set to be held in Harrisburg on March 27, but due to the coronavirus, all tests will be done online.

Winners of the 2020 State GeoBee will receive $1,000 in cash and a trip to Washington, D.C., according www.national geographic.org.