That Was The Question when National Bee Cancelled
Bab el Mandeb, a strait between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, connects the Gulf of Aden to what sea?
The answer, of course, is the Red Sea. And that was the correct response that seventh-grader Luke Puls gave to become a repeat champion at the OCS Geo Bee. Last year, Puls claimed the title for the first time.
Coming in second was sixth-grader Clayton Gura and in third place was eighth-grader Eleanor Borchard, who has placed in the top three in the last three years.
The National Geographic Society had originally planned on holding its annual national competition this year virtually. However there was not enough interest from schools nationwide so they cancelled the GeoBee.
But that did not stop Middle School Librarian Amber Nungester. Faced with the question of "to bee or not to bee?" she decided Oaks Christian would hold their own event!
This was especially important for the eighth-graders who had participated in the GeoBee every year since sixth-grade.
"During the pandemic, our students have had so many things taken away or put postponed, and the GeoBee was just another casualty in a world turned upside down. Every day I would walk past our GeoBee winner’s plaque in the library wall, and my heart would break at the thought of a gap in our list of winners," Nungester shared.
Middle School Principal Garett Freeman green-lighted a safe and socially distanced event. The first round would was virtual to accomodate half of the normal number of finalists due to indoor capacity restrictions.
The event was moderated by OCS Chief Operating Officer Mike Parkinson, assisted by Freeman.
"I am thrilled at the perseverance our students showed by studying for the GeoBee in their own free time, and allowing for such an exciting final round, Nungester said.