Ryan Kaplan Advances to New York State Bee

 Ryan Kaplan, an eighth grader at John Jay Middle School, has qualified to compete in the state level competition of the 2017 National Geographic Bee. The New York State Bee will be held at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY on Friday, March 31, 2017.

When asked the secret to his success, Kaplan said, “I had a placemat with a map of the United States on it when I was little. And my shower curtain was a map of the world.”

“When Ryan finished taking his qualifying exam for the State Bee, he asked if he could look up some answers to a few of the questions to see if he got them correct. I was very impressed with his curiosity and quest for knowledge,” said Mrs. Kessler, his Spanish teacher and the point person for John Jay Middle School’s participation in the National Geographic Bee.

 All seventh and eighth graders at John Jay Middle School took a qualifying test for National Geographic Bee the day after winter break. They answered questions in seven categories: State Savvy, History Happens, Ocean Wonders, Weird but True, World of Science, Odd One Out, and Culture Connection. The top ten scorers competed against each other—spelling bee style—in front of the entire school in late January.

 At the school Bees this year, students had to answer questions like these:

Q. The North Platte and South Platte Rivers meet in which state—New Mexico or Nebraska?

A. Nebraska

Q. Which landmark in Washington, D.C., was burned by the British in 1814—the Washington Monument or the White House?

A. White House

Q.  Sea otters sometimes wrap themselves in kelp when resting to keep from drifting​ ​​away. Sea otters can be found near eastern Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk in which​ ​ocean?

A. Pacific Ocean

Q. The island of Mauritius [maw-RISH-uhs] in the Indian Ocean has multicolored sand dunes. It’s weird, but it’s true! Mauritius lies off the southeast coast of which continent that includes the Kalahari Desert?

A. Africa

Q. What is the term for an underground layer of rock that holds groundwater—an arroyo​ or an aquifer?

A. aquifer

One of the final questions that Kaplan answered correctly was this:

Q. Archeologists have begun excavating an ancient lost city in the region called La Mosquitia in which country north of Nicaragua?

A. Honduras.

  The National Geographic Bee competition is in its 29th year. Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, 4th Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 14-17, 2017. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all-expenses paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll