Can you name the only Dutch-speaking country in South America? Siddarth Shah can! Siddarth represented Sunnyvale Middle School on his fourth, and his last trip to the National Geographic Geography Bee state finals competition, at Fresno State this past March. The state competition is open to 4th-8th- graders statewide who qualify by a school held elimination round, where the finalist completes a written test. National Geographic then chooses the top 100 scores in the state. More than 4,600 students competed across the United States and territories in National Geographic State Bees.
There are three levels of the Bee: school, state and national. The 54 winners of the state Bees receive $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state or territory at the national finals, which are held each May. Though he didn’t take the grand prize, Siddarth has a wealth of knowledge, and curiosity about the world, its regions, and people. By-the-way, Suriname is the only Dutch-speaking country in South America!
The competition began in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.
This article was written by SMS teacher Nicole Leonard.