Quick Links

Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Main Navigation



Sign up for the News Update.

Sub Navigation




Home > breadcrumbs: Activities > breadcrumbs: Journalism >


Ajax Loading Image


Alfson to compete in state meet

Kailey Johnson

March 16, 2020


    How many people know the answer to this question? “Before capturing Samarkand, Alexander the Great crossed the Oxus River, which flowed from the Pamirs to the Aral Sea. Today the river is known by what other name? A. Indus, B. Brahmaputra, C. Amu Darya.” See end of story for answer.

     Sam Alfson knows the answer to this question, in fact, he knows enough answers for questions like this to qualify for the state National Geographic Bee. After scoring a 43/ 50, Alfson won the local test.

    Alfson prepared for the test by studying outside school. He watched past tournaments to familiarize himself with some questions. He also uses the National Geographic study session found on the National Geographic website.

    ​​​​​​​Alfson is a WPES 6th grader and this was his first time taking the test. Alfson believes that,” a little skill and some luck,” aided his success. 5th and 6th grade teacher Keith Eriksen said Alfson’s,” good process of elimination,” contributed to his success.

     According to nationalgeographic.org, the National Geographic GeoBee includes three levels of competition; school, state, and national. Schools conduct a GeoBee and name a school champion.

     The school champion takes a proctored online qualifying test and the top-100-ranked students in each state qualify to represent their school in the State level of the GeoBee competition. State champions are then invited to compete in the national championship.

    Every school in the state tests every student 5th through 8th grade. The test consists of worldwide geography questions. Alfson said the test has,” some hard questions, but there is a good variety.” Alfson will complete the state level of the Geobee, which is similar to the local test. 

    Due to the public health risks of the coronavirus, the in-person level National Geographic State Geo Bee scheduled for March 27, 2020, has been switched to an online format. Now, Alfson will complete the same test at his home school, West Point Public.

    His score on this test will determine his chance at nationals. Alfson commented,” My goal is to win state and qualify for nationals.” The state champion wins a gold medal, $1000 scholarship, and a trip to Washington D.C for the national competition.

     If Alfson were to win the state competition, he said,” the $1000 goes into a college fund.” Alfson is very excited to compete in the state level of the Geo Bee. 

                                                                                                Answer: Amu Darya

Back To Top