NMS And Reed Students Take Part In National Geographic Bee

Published: February 09, 2019 at 07:00 am


Newtown students participated in rounds of the National Geographic “GeoBee,” answering an array of geography questions at Newtown Middle School on January 17 and Reed Intermediate School on January 29.

According to National Geographic’s website,, “The National Geographic GeoBee is an annual competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Students in grades four through eight... from nearly 10,000 schools across the United States will compete in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee for a chance to win college scholarships and the glory of being the National Geographic GeoBee Champion.”

At NMS, Assistant Principal James Ross moderated the January 17 competition. Event organizer and Library Media Specialist Andrew San Angelo introduced the gathered audience to the after school event, and social studies teacher Shari Oliver said each of the students passed initial rounds to make it to the January 17 final competition at NMS.

“These are the best of the best,” said Ms Oliver, with the day’s contestants seated on the middle school’s auditorium stage. The participating students were Ava Baroody, Alexei Richard, Dan Belmuth, Matthew Holden, Tyler Cocchiola, Patrick Cooney, Zachary Lechecka, and Filippo Formica.

GeoBee moderators read questions and students answer either verbally or with written answers, depending on the round’s rules. After multiple rounds, Filippo Formica was named as NMS’s GeoBee champion.

When asked how he prepared for the GeoBee, Filippo said he used National Geographic website and a website called to study.

A full school assembly was held for Reed’s final GeoBee competition. Students Jack Glassman, Julia Echavarria, Theo Anderson, Eliot Rosen, Michael Lawlor, Charlie Dunn, and Riley Alesevich faced off in the January 29 event. As clusters entered the cafetorium to witness the competition, friends cheered on their cluster champions.

“We have some students who are going to be competing in a very difficult challenge,” said Reed Principal Anne Uberti, who moderated the event, which was organized by sixth grade teacher Matt Dalton.

Students named states when the name of the capital was shared as a question, they identified regions based on bodies of water, and they all participated in a respectful manner. Theo Anderson went on to be named Reed’s GeoBee champion. To prepare for the competition, he said he studied using National Geographic’s website.

Both of the schools’ winners will complete tests to determine whether they will go on to compete in the state level of the GeoBee.

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