Brookview Student Competes at State Geography Bee

First Row L-R: Yash Gupta, Arun Dixit, Rohan Sah, Sai Rayasam, Isaiah Dale / Back Row L-R: Jackson Virgil, Jackson Minton, Lohit Chawla, Jahanvi Chawla, Manthan Shah

First Row L-R: Yash Gupta, Arun Dixit, Rohan Sah, Sai Rayasam, Isaiah Dale / Back Row L-R: Jackson Virgil, Jackson Minton, Lohit Chawla, Jahanvi Chawla, Manthan Shah

Brookview Elementary (BV) fifth grader Sai Rayasam is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2015 Iowa National Geographic State Bee! The state Bee was held on March 27 at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).

Sai Rayasam

Sai Rayasam

At the state bee, contestants were each given eight questions to answer. Sai answered six of the eight correctly but only the top ten contestants place at this event. If he had answered seven correctly, he would have definitely been in the top ten. Great job, Sai!

“Winning the school bee and moving on to State makes me so happy! I want to win, but I am most excited for having fun with my friends that will also be competing at State,” Sai said before the state competition.

A family new to BV brought this competition to the attention of fourth grade teacher Sheryl Carter. After receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from parents, she took it upon herself to coordinate the event, which was open to all fourth and fifth grade students. Some practices were held leading up to the actual competition on February 3, which consisted of ten students. Students were asked an individual question regarding geography, similar to the format of a spelling bee, in a round robin tournament until one student remained.

“I loved seeing the enthusiasm and rigor from the participants, as they were expected to study on their own and the questions came from such a vast range of material. I look forward to being involved with the Geography Bee next year and spending more time helping students prepare,” Carter stated.

“The Bee has provided students with one more pathway to explore their interests and passions.  It is exciting to have so many students interested in learning about the world around them.  We are thrilled for Sai to be selected as a state qualifier and know he will represent Brookview to the best of his abilities,” Terry Hurlburt, BV principal, said.

Geography Bees were held in schools with students in grades 4-8 throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society invited about 100 of the top-scoring students from each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the state Bees.

Sai wants to be a role model for his younger neighbor friends, who are also interested in geography and want to compete. His family checked out a library book so they could all read about the event. Rayasam worked on 200 sample problems per day in preparation for State.

Students had to answer questions like: “Six-time Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, play football near the source of the Ohio River in which state—Alabama or Pennsylvania?” and “Taylor Swift performed songs from her album Red last summer in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of which Asian country that borders the South China Sea?”

One winner from each state and territory will advance to the national competition, which will be held May 11-13 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701