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2 MS students advance to national geography bee

2 MS students advance to national geography bee

Wilbraham & Monson Academy Middle School students Ben Patterson ’28 and Rosalie Machowski ’29 had never participated in a geography bee until just a few weeks ago.

Once the event began, though, they performed like they worked for Google Maps.

Calling upon knowledge from their Geography/Model United Nations afternoon activity in the Middle School, Ben and Rosalie placed at the Regional Geography Bee in Chicopee, Massachusetts, on Jan. 13. They qualified for the national competition in Orlando, Florida, in May.

Ben earned a silver medal in the Grade 8 category, placing second. Both students also qualified for the international championship, to be held in Vienna, Austria, during the summer.

In order to participate at the regional competition, students had to earn a certain score on a previous online geography test.


Faculty advisor Madame Fabienne Dubois on why she feels it’s important for students to participate in the Regional Geography Bee: “I believe that learning about geography is very important, but that it is often overlooked in a typical curriculum. I am glad we have the opportunity at WMA to encourage students to study geography during this afternoon activity. The other goal we have in the activity is preparing students for Model UN. This year, students chose to give priority to geography.”

Ben on attending the regional event: “It is very cool to be able to advance to nationals and internationals. The geography bee was fun because it was interesting to see other people compete in a geography competition. It was cool to try to buzz in the fastest to try to win the point.”

Rosalie on what she learned by attending the competition: “Advancing to the national competition was a big surprise. I was excited when I found out that I qualified for the next level of competition and am looking forward to the challenge. Going to the Regional Geography Bee, I learned what the level of competition is like for future events, like the national competition. With this, I hope to get more used to using the buzzer and not being afraid to guess.”