Kids from all over Missouri compete in Geographic Bee

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COLUMBIA - More than 100 children from Missouri will compete in the Missouri Geographic Bee on Friday.

Each of the students competing in the competition won their schools’ competition and made a high enough score on a written qualifying test. The students range from fourth graders to eighth graders.

Fifteen of those kids are from the mid-Missouri area:

  • Rohan Rao, 7th grade, Columbia
  • Braeden Short, 7th grade, Eugene
  • Olivia Wood, 7th grade, Columbia
  • Abigail Miller, 8th grade, Eldon
  • Asher Ferguson, 7th grade, Columbia
  • Adhurim Canhasi, 8th grade, Columbia
  • Carter Vandeloecht, 7th grade, Marceline
  • Amos Tramel, 8th grade, Columbia
  • Finn Meggitt, 7th grade, Rolla 
  • Konnor Turner, 8th grade, Ashland
  • Avnith Kumar, 4th grade, Jefferson City
  • Jared Markway, 8th grade, Westphalia
  • Thomas Waters, 6th grade, Fulton
  • Nathan Waters, 5th grade, Columbia
  • Charles McGrath, 8th grade, Columbia


Students studied culture, maps, physical features, current events, geographic history and more to prepare for the competition.

"It really covers a wide range of information. And these students just have studied a lot and read about the world and they do well in the bee," the competition’s director, Tim Hill said.

He said even in a world where we have access to information constantly through technology, knowing about geography is still important.

“We can communicate with people around the world," Hill said. "We can access news and information around the world, which is fantastic, but still that understanding of geography and and geographic concepts can help us make sense of all of that information that bombards us everyday."

Hill said the competition helps kids develop.

“It first rewards academic excellence and hard work. I think those are two very important things," Hill said. "Secondly, geography is a very important subject that all Americans need to understand because it plays such an important part of everyday life, whether we realize it or not."

The winner of the Missouri competition will walk away with $100, a trip to the National Geographic Bee competition in May, a trophy, a medal and a National Geographic book.

The competition has been going since 1989 and is sponsored by National Geographic.

In 2016, the Missouri state champion was Nikhil Krishnan from Rockwood South Middle School in Fenton.