Nygaard wins Thompson Falls GeoBee competition

Print Article

Thompson Falls Junior High held its geographic bee Jan. 28 and eighth-grade student Theo Nygaard, holding up the white board, won the contest. (Chuck Bandel/Valley Press)

Socrates once said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

He also admitted, “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.”

A more modern version of those statements could be, “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” They made a TV show about that.

If participants in the Thompson Falls Junior High annual spelling bee are any indication, Socrates was onto something and the answer to the TV show question for most adults would probably be, NO!

Last week 10 students in grades five through eight gathered in the school’s band room for the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a nationwide contest backed by the National Geographic Society to test young student’s knowledge of the features of the world in which they live.

After a series of questions in their various grades, the top two finishers from each grade advanced to the school finals with the eventual winner being crowned the school champion.

To get the school final round, contestants had to correctly answer all six geographic related questions. Those who made it to the final round were then asked questions one student at a time to determine who would advance to the

next round.

Students had 15 seconds to answer questions ranging from seas, to rivers to countries throughout the planet.

By time the final round arrived, two students were left in the chase for the school title. The final question was “if rain falls on the highest peak in Glacier National Park, it eventually flows into the Pacific and Atlantic and what third ocean?”

Eventual winner Theo Nygaard, a Thompson Falls Junior High eighth-grade student correctly wrote “the Arctic Ocean” on a white board, edging out fifth-grader Addi Traver for the title. Seventh grade student Gabriel Hutton finished third.

When asked how much studying was required to win the contest, Nygaard said, “not much, really. We learned these things in class.”

The GeoBee was developed in 1989 over concerns about lack of knowledge of even basic geography questions. Since then, more than 120 million students have participated in the contest with state-wide qualifiers advancing to the National Finals this spring.

Also at stake for the qualifiers are scholarships, cash prizes and an all-expenses paid trip to the Galapagos Islands aboard the National Geographic’s Endeavor II, a research ship.

Next up for school champions such as Nygaard is an on-line qualifying test where up to 100 top scorers from each state will advance to the state finals.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Hecla is hopeful about mines despite legal fight

February 13, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Daily Inter Lake Despite several lingering legal challenges, officials with an Idaho mining company remain confident they will be able to open two mines in Northwest Montana at some point in the future. Hecla Mining...


Read More

Open houses planned to review floodplain maps

February 13, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Daily Inter Lake Mineral County and the Town of Superior are working with Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update floodplain maps for the Clark...


Read More

Shoeboxes can make a difference for kids worldwide

February 13, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Daily Inter Lake “When a child opens this box, what would they like to see?” said Pam Elder of the Alberton Community Church. Such was the main topic of Cabin Fever Community Potluck Saturday, Feb. 8, at the 4-H Bu...


Read More

Darlow family takes over Castles Market

February 13, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Daily Inter Lake Two months have passed since Superior grocery store Castles Market quietly changed ownership. As Ken and Cathy Kuhl head off into the sunset of retirement, a new chapter begins for the Darlow famil...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 826-3402
105 W. Lynch
P.O. Box 667
Plains, MT 59859

©2020 Clark Fork Valley Press | Mineral Independent Terms of Use Privacy Policy