STMA 8th-grader tops 900 students for geography title


Eighth-grader Cole Meyer, son of Heidi Bartels and Perry Meyer, became the 2012-13 STMA Middle School East Geography Bee champion. Approximately 900 students participated in this year’s Bee at STMA Middle School East, and close to 1,000 students, staff, and parents attended the event.

The Geography Bee is a national competition where students from around the country compete by answering a series of tough geographical questions. STMA has had a long tradition of successful Geography Bee school winners including sending 9 finalists to the state competition and 2 who placed in the top 10 of the state of Minnesota.

Throughout the month of December all students at STMA East were given the opportunity to participate in the school wide preliminary Geography Bee competition in their social studies classes. From this competition, 31 classroom champions emerged. These 31 classroom champions then competed against each other in the school semi-finals the week of Dec. 10 through the 14. The field was narrowed from 31 down to ten school finalists and two alternates. These ten finalists competed in front of the student body on January 4th in the Middle School East gymnasium.

Each finalist was eliminated when they answered two questions incorrectly. Cole and eighth-grader Jacob Metzger survived nine rounds of competition to make it to the school championship round.

The championship round consisted of three questions. At the end of the championship round, Cole Meyer had correctly answered the most questions and became the STMA Middle School East Geography Bee Champion. The winning question Cole answered correctly was:

“The Yaghan were a nomadic tribe indigenous to Tierra del Fuego, an island group that is divided between Argentina and what other country?” Answer: Chile.

The next step for Cole will be to take a written test to qualify for the State Competition at Macalester College in March.

This is the first time Cole has made it the finals at Middle School East as he transferred from the St. Michael Catholic School school this year.

Other finalists in this year’s competition included sixth-graders Brandon Sukalski and Syra Tanchin; seventh-graders Shane Morris, Braeden Levandowski, Austin McClintic and Jacob Metzger; either-graders Ben Beise, Nathan Pelant and Brody Sunsten. The alternates were seventh-grader Thomas Stephenson and eighth-grader Carrie Barthel.