Grade 9 student Owen Lapshinoff is this year’s school champion in the Canadian Geographic Challenge.
Owen and runner-up Jason Zhang, grade 9, were among the top students from grades 7 to 9 Geography competing in today’s challenge in Ketchum Auditorium. Dr. David Joiner, Head of the Geography Department, posed a series of questions over the course of 30 minutes to the 14 students, allowing them 10 seconds to determine their answers. The competition was so close that two rounds of tie-breaker questions were needed to determine the winner.
Questions ranged in difficulty from:
Which river runs through London, England? (Thames)
In 2016, which province received the most immigrants? (Ontario)
Palmyra, a World Heritage Site that suffered severe damage in 2015 from ISIS, is in which country? (Syria)
Thousands of students representing schools from across Canada participate in the annual Canadian Geographic Challenge. Middle School and grade 9 students at St. Andrew's have been competing in class competitions coordinated by their teachers David Joiner, Adam Kowaltschuk, Joe Commisso, and Ben Kitagawa since January in preparation for the opportunity to vie for the School title in front of their colleagues.
This year’s Level 2 Challenge finalists were Kevin Li (gr.7), Logan Nirenberski (gr.7), Evan He (gr.7), Marcus Jenko (gr.8), Emilio Zulueta Garza (gr.8), Anthony Simpson (gr.8), Dillon O’Rourke (gr.8), Matheen Kahn (gr.9), Jason Zhang (gr.9), Bryan An (gr.9), Griffin Ardill (gr.9), Cole Lapshinoff (gr.9), Dante Gallo (gr.9), and Gordie McDonell (gr.9).
Owen now moves on to represent St. Andrew’s in an online provincial competition within the next few days. The top 20 finalists will then be invited to the National Championship in Ottawa in May.
After 23 successful years and more than 2 million student participants, the Canadian Geographic Challenge continues to build interest in geography among young Canadians by allowing them to test their knowledge in friendly competition.
The Challenge is organized by Canadian Geographic Education, the standing educational committee of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The Challenge is also sponsored by Canadian Geographic magazine and Google.Past questions are available online.
Story by David Joiner