MGAES Student Places in Washington Top 100 for National Geographic Bee

Are you smarter than this sixth grader? Try answering one of these questions: In what country is Tungurahua Volcano located? Kerala is to India as San Luis Potos is to what country?

While you are racking your brain, meet 12-year-old Hayden Sherrill, a sixth-grader at Meadow Glade Adventist Elementary School (MGAES). He recently took several tests filled with questions like these. The result? His geographical knowledge and understanding earned him a coveted spot in the Washington State National Geographic Bee in Tacoma, Wash.

Schools throughout the state, including MGAES, recently administered a series of tests to their students prepared by the National Geographic Society. When their top student emerged, another test was given, which was sent to the National Geographic Society to score. The society then invited the top 100 highest-scoring students to the state competition, and Sherrill was one of them.

"The [MGAES] principal announced in chapel that I placed in the top 100," says Sherrill. "I was so shocked and totally excited that I made it to the state bee."

During the next several weeks, Sherrill spent 30 minutes every day diligently studying the numerous geographic categories, which include map terminology, ocean landscapes, time-zone comprehension, state geography, climates and geography in the news, just to name a few.

"I was really nervous," says Sherrill, recalling his experience at the state competition. "Each question they asked got harder and harder, and it seemed most of the students were all eighth-graders."

Each student was asked to answer eight questions verbally, and their advancement depended on how each question was answered. Sherrill mastered four out of the eight questions asked of him. Although that wasn't enough to advance him to the national finals, Sherrill is far from discouraged.

"I'm going to go for it again," Sherrill exclaims. "But this time I'm going to study a lot more, and I'll probably be less nervous since I've already been through it."

Now if you're still scratching your head over those geography questions, just ask this state-qualifying sixth-grader.

July 01, 2012 / Oregon Conference