Wantagh Middle School students brought their knowledge of 197 million square miles to the annual Geography Bee on Jan. 11, where they competed for school champion.
The championship featured 20 sixth, seventh and eighth graders who won preliminary rounds in their social studies classes. Teacher David Cippoletti read questions about the United States and the world in the double-elimination competition.
Sixth grader Ahsan Saleem emerged as the winner after eight rounds, with seventh graders Paul Felice and Steven Lucchese earning a tied for second place. The event featured numerous questions about states, countries, continents, bodies of water and cultural geography. Difficulty ramped up in the later rounds when students had to give their answers without the benefit of multiple choices.
Director of Humanities Julie Rosslee said geography is woven into the curriculum in all grade levels and multiple subject areas. Students pull knowledge from their English, social studies and world languages classes.
“The Geography Bee is an annual event that everyone looks forward to,” Ms. Rosslee said. “It gives the students something to strive for. The participants cheer each other on, and the camaraderie is phenomenal.”