On March 27, 2015, there was an air of nervous excitement as 108 qualifiers from schools throughout North Carolina milled around the lobby of McKnight Hall on the campus of UNC Charlotte, preparing to compete at the state level of the 2015 National Geographic Bee. Participants were then divided into five smaller rooms, and were asked eighth rounds of questions covering wide-ranging topics including US/world cities, famous landmarks, geographic habitats of endangered species, cultural geography and current events.
CDS seventh-grader Connor Hovendon was one of 13 of the original 108 who answered all eight of his preliminary round questions correctly, placing him in a tiebreaker round to establish the 10 finalists. The tiebreaker took place behind closed doors (no parents allowed!) and all 13 students were asked the same three questions. The 10 finalists then sat up on stage in a large auditorium, and went through a more intensive round of questions encompassing worldwide geography, including maps and visual aids. Similar to our school Bee, students were eliminated when they had two incorrect responses.
After eight rounds on stage, Connor advanced to the championship face-off, where he got two out of three answers correct, earning him second place. Great job Connor!