By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Westborough – For the last two decades students at the Sarah W. ?Gibbons Middle School have participated in an annual Geography Bee.
Each student that participated had to qualify by taking a preliminary quiz through their social studies class that consisted of about 25 questions. A total of twelve students then went onto the school's final which was held Jan. 14 in the school's library. ?An audience of students and parents eagerly watched to see who this year's winner would be.
In the first four rounds, a question was asked and each student needed to write down his or her answer. In rounds five through 12, each student was asked an individual question and needed to give an oral answer. And at the end of the bee, it was eighth-grader Elizabeth Hopkinson who was named the Gibbons champion.
Bruce Powers, eighth-grade social studies teacher and department chair noted Elizabeth was “carrying on a family tradition.”
“We'se had a number of students move on to the state competition, including Elizabeth's brother, Ben,” Powers said. “He won as a seventh- grader and came in fifth out of 100 kids.”
Questions included such things as: ?Joropo is the unofficial dance of which South American country that is also home to the Orinoco River delta? (answer: Venezuela) and the Beaufort Sea and Mosquito Coast are located along coastlines of which continent? (answer: North America).
When asked what she was going to do now that she had won the Bee, Elizabeth responded by saying, “I'sl go home and tell my family, especially my brother!”
The other competitors included: Ari Drotch, Beryl Mohanadhas, Bram Townsend, Michelle Chea, Ameya Mandale, Samantha Hogan; all in seventh grade, and Meena Kodali, Liam Dolan, Derek Pittorino, Aylin Valentijn and Tor Ramos; all in eighth grade.
Elizabeth will next take a state test to determine if she will qualify for one of the 100 entry spots for the state Bee, Powers said.
The state winner will then go onto compete in the National Bee which will be held in Washington, D.C. later this year.
The events are held in conjunction with the National Geographic Society.