Mr. Gruett shakes hands with Jason on stage

Riverview teacher Tyler Gruett congratulates school Geographic Bee winner Jason Meyer. Photos courtesy of Tyler Gruett

Eighth-grader wins Riverview Geography Bee

Posted January 22, 2018

Jason Meyer, an eighth-grader at Riverview Middle School, has won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee and a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship.

The school bee is the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee. Jason now takes a written test; up to 100 of the top scorers in each state will compete in a state bee on April 6.

Thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participate in this annual competition open to students in grades 5 through 8.

More than 600 Riverview students took a preliminary test, with the top 30 qualifiers advancing to the school bee, where they answered oral questions on geography Jan. 11 in the school auditorium.

The competition consisted of seven rounds, with each contestant asked one question per round. Two contestants – Jason and eighth-grader Katherine Rauscher – correctly answered all seven of their questions to advance to the Championship Round. After 10-plus rounds of tiebreaker questions, Jason (who also qualified in 2016 and in 2017) won on a question about the Dead Sea.

The rest of the qualifiers for the 2018 competition were: eighth-graders Caitlyn Albrecht (2017 school bee champion), Nick Schwartz (2017 qualifier), Annika Nelson (2017 qualifier), Nick Harpstead (2017 qualifier), Reed Gahagan (2016 and 2017 qualifier), Matt Sheridan (2016 3rd place and 2017 qualifier), Jacob Gruttner (2017 qualifier), Kellan Mella (2016 qualifier), Sam Scheele, Aaron Veldman, Jake Steinhardt, Ian Struve, Zach Stucke, Peyton Sass, Mason Cantwell, and Micah Falk; seventh-graders Arianna Fohr, Brandon Schultz, Violet Zellmer, Ryan Selk, Adam Niver, Zach Stearns, Tate Argall, Carson Schwartz, Maddie Brown, Nate Stucke and Natalie Johnson; and fifth-grader Barret Helmer.

Students sitting in a semi-circle on stage

Qualifiers in the Riverview Geographic Bee fill the stage at the start of the competition.

National Geographic Bee sample questions


1. Which state is known as the Peach State because peaches are one of its major crops—Hawaii or Georgia?
2. Which state is known as the Great Lakes State because it is bordered by four of the five Great Lakes—North Dakota or Michigan?
3. Which state, famous for its wealth and financial resources, is known as the Empire State—Idaho or New York
4. A trumpet appears on the quarter of which state, known for its jazz music heritage—Louisiana or Florida?
5. The first successful airplane flight, at Kill Devil Hills, is commemorated on the quarter of which
state—North Carolina or Iowa?
6. The threatened Canada lynx, which has large feet adapted for walking on top of deep snow, lives near Lake of the Woods in which state—Georgia or Minnesota?
7. To bike around Stanley Park in Vancouver and see the northern lights near Yellowknife, you would travel to what country?
8. To take a rain forest tour and to dance at Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebration, you would travel to what country?
9. To see an acrobatics show in Beijing and walk along the Great Wall, you would travel to what country?


1. Georgia
2. Michigan
3. New York
4. Louisiana
5. North Carolina
6. Minnesota
7. Canada
8. Brazil
9. China