McKinley Middle School students, with the help of Continental Mapping St. Louis staff, competed in the National Geographic Geography Bee earlier this year. Around 50 students in grades 6-8 expressed interest in competing in the GeoBee, with entrants selected through a qualifying exam. The GeoBee was held in the school auditorium in front of the rest of the student body, with 11 students qualifying for the event.


The GeoBee started out with several rounds, with students individually answering verbal questions. Each round had a different theme, such as “Weird but True” where the questions stated weird facts about countries and the students had to state which one it was. The students scores were tallied and the field was narrowed down to five students. However, there was a six-way tie forcing a bonus round to determine who would make it to the final round. Natalie Hartman and Benjamin Breuer were the final two participants standing. The pair were asked five individual questions and scored at the end of the five rounds. Eventually, Natalie, the returning School Geography Bee champion, went on to repeat as Geography Bee champion.