Boonsboro Middle School student places fourth in state geography bee

April 09, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Rami B. Yanes, a seventh-grader at Boonsboro Middle School, placed fourth in the state geography bee Friday.

The competition, which was open to students in grades 4 to 8, was sponsored by National Geographic and included 100 Maryland students.

The winner, Michael P. Morris of Germantown, Md., will advance to the 20th annual National Geographic Bee in May.

Five other Washington County Public Schools students participated. They are: Ben Seifert, Emma K. Doub Elementary; Tyler Bivona, Western Heights Middle; Nathaniel J. Parchment, Northern Middle; Charles S. Keyser, Smithsburg Middle; and Steven C. Hart, Springfield Middle.

Rami was the only local student to advance to the final round, where 10 students competed for the top spot.

To qualify for the state event, students had to have one of the top 100 scores in the state on a written exam.


Rami said he has been to the state geography bee twice before.

"But I didn't do well," he said. "(This time) I prepared. I went online and took some quizzes, so that helped me prepare for it. I guess I just accumulated more knowledge."

Rami said that students needed a perfect score in the preliminary round to advance to the finals.

Tyler, an eighth-grader, also answered all eight preliminary round questions correctly, according to Kate Mayhugh, a sixth- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Western Heights Middle. So did about 25 other students, and another round of competition was necessary to reduce that number to 10.

Tyler did not make it through the tiebreaker round. Mayhugh said that Friday was Tyler's fifth year at the bee.

"He's a wonderful student," she said. "He is very highly skilled in geography."

Nathaniel also made it through the preliminary round, but did not advance to the final round, Northern Middle School Principal Peggy Pugh said.

Nathaniel competed in the state geography bee last year, she said.

"I think it's an amazing honor," Pugh said. "He's an amazing student."

Steven tied for 12th place in Friday's competition, according to Springfield Middle School officials. Charles did not make it past the preliminary round, said Nancy Souders, with Smithsburg Middle School.

Marisa Hoyle, an enrichment teacher at Emma K. Doub Elementary, said that Ben did not advance to the final round of competition, but he was one of only six fifth-graders in the state to qualify for the bee.

"That was quite an honor," she said.

Sample questions

Q: Which state has a climate suitable for growing citrus fruits -- California or Maine?
A: California

Q: Which country has the world's largest Muslim population -- Indonesia or Mexico?

A: Indonesia

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

Q: What is the term for a part of an ocean or sea that cuts far into the bordering land mass and may contain one or more bays?
A: Gulf

Q: The port of Rotterdam is built on the delta of which major European river?
A: Rhine River

Q: Which Canadian province produces more than half of the country's manufactured goods?
A: Ontario

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

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