Sauser Wins MGAES School Geographic Bee

February 18, 2015 | Malaika Childers

Abby Sauser, a sixth-grade student at Meadow Glade Adventist Elementary School (MGAES) in Battle Ground, Wash., won the school competition of the National Geographic Bee on Jan. 9. The school bee, during which students answered questions on geography, was the first round of the 27th annual National Geographic Bee. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and community members attended the bee at MGAES to cheer on the contestants.

Madi Carlton, geography bee runner-up, says, “I was a little nervous at first, but then I got used to being up front.”

Thousands of schools around the United States and in the U.S. territories are participating in the 2015 bee. The school champions, including Sauser, will take a written test. Up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state bee on March 27.

Of the experience, Sauser says, "I was very nervous, but I'm glad I did it."

The bee is open to students across the nation in grades four to eight. At MGAES, all students in those grades participated in a grade-level competition. From that competition, the top two scores participated in the school bee. The competitors at MGAES included fourth-graders Calahan Patchin and Micah Payne; fifth-graders Sarah Kimitsuka and Amanda Mathey; sixth-grader Ryan Mowrey; seventh-graders Madi Carlton and Alexandra Tyler; and eighth-graders Hope Bollin and Alyssa Mayhew.

"With nearly a third of American young adults not being able to identify the Amazon rain forest — or for that matter, half of this same age group surveyed couldn’t locate New York and two-thirds could not locate Ohio on a map of the United States —  I can say without reservation how proud I am of our boys and girls that participated in MGAES geography bee," says Ric Peinado, MGAES principal. "Many of the questions were extremely difficult, yet our students stayed focused and persevered. I would like to thank Malaika Childers, geography bee coordinator, and her team for their dedication to the geography bee. All the teachers involved provided a meaningful learning experience for our young people. I think it is important in this day and age to raise awareness of geographic literacy and prepare our kids for the world in which we live in — we must understand our past to see how far we have all come. Understanding the relationships of continents, oceans and other countries helps our students grasp this concept."