After winning the John Jay Middle School Geography Bee, Alex Stark’s impressive score qualified him to compete at the state level bee on March 27 in Albany.
“I was surprised to find out I made it to the next level,” said Stark, who said he was initially nervous when he qualified as one of the school’s 10 finalists to compete in front of the whole school.
The National Geography Bee, open to students in grades four through eight, includes tough questions about U.S. and global geography. After winning the JJMS Bee, Stark took a qualifying test to continue to the next level.
“I studied online and looked at a lot of maps,” Stark said.
He remembers a specific question that referenced the geographic location in the Disney movie “Frozen” that he was able to successfully answer as he worked toward winning the JJMS Bee. (He correctly identified the Scandinavian peninsula as the location where Norway is located.)
Stark is looking forward to being one of 100 competitors in the statewide competition and has been studying every day to prepare. The highest-scoring students at the state level will continue to the national competition in Washington, D.C.
He advises other students looking to participate in similar competitions to try to shake the nerves.
“Don’t worry too much,” Stark said, adding, “Try your best and study.”