One hundred Arizona elementary-school students met at Arizona State University’s Memorial Union to compete in the Arizona Geographic Bee, sponsored by National Geographic and Arizona Geographic Alliance.

Aditya Narayanan, a fifth-grader at Sonoran Sky Elementary in Scottsdale, emerged as the state winner of the March 31 event and is eligible to compete in the national championship in Washington, D.C., May 14-17.

William Anderson, a seventh-grader at Basis Peoria, finished in second place.

Gayatri Kaimal, a sixth-grader at Basis Tucson North, came in third.

Students also competed for a chance to be on either Gov. Doug Ducey’s team or former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon’s team in an end-of-the day geography quiz.

In the main competition, students were put into five groups of about 20 students each and staged semifinals in various rooms at  the conference center.

Each student was given several questions in a process of elimination, with two students in each room advancing to the final round held in the main conference center.

They answered questions ranging from “Who first generated hieroglyphics?” to “Where was SuperBowl XLIX held?”

After the hard work was done, Ducey and Salmon arrived to take part in an “Arizona-only” geography bee on teams with some of the students. 2q

ASU’s School for Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning has been a major contributor to the GeoBee and the Arizona Geographic Alliance since 1992,  according to Mike Ostapuk, program director. Two ASU geography professors, Dr. Malcom Comeaux and Dr. Robert Mings, are the faculty sponsors.

“Our entire effort has been to create a geographically literate society of adults, teachers and their students,” Ostapuk said, adding that being a part of this is “the legacy I am most proud of professionally.”

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