Christopher Russo Secures First Place at GeograBee Competition in Second Year in Final Rounds

Drawing from knowledge of atlases, National Geographic online quizzes and his experiences from last year’s competition, Christopher Russo ’15 placed first in Andover’s 17th Annual GeograBee.

Russo, representing Abbot Cluster, earned 24 points out of a possible 90 to win the competition. Jong Ho Park ’16, representing West Quad North Cluster, placed second with 14 points. Miguel Wise ’14, representing West Quad South Cluster, earned eight points to come in third place.

Cash prizes were awarded to the top three finalists. Russo won $100, Park won $50 and Wise won $25.

Jason Canavan ’14, representing the day students, David Crane ’13, representing Flagstaff Cluster and Harry Wright ’13, representing Pine Knoll Cluster placed fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

The finals took place in Upper Left of Paresky Commons on Tuesday. Canavan qualified for the school-wide finals by winning the day student competition, and the other participants qualified by winning both their dorm and cluster competitions.

In the school-wide finals, a moderator posed a question, and the first competitor to hit their buzzer responded. Three points were added to a player’s score if they answered the question correctly, and one point was deducted if their answer was incorrect. The competition consisted of a total of 30 questions and 90 possible points.

Twenty-five questions into the contest, Russo’s score was double that of the second place competitor. Russo frequently buzzed in to answer questions before the moderator finished speaking.

“I knew how to play the game. The game is all about buzzing in at the right time. I did not know this last year, but now that I knew, I was able to take advantage of it,” said Russo.

The most difficult questions were the ones that asked for specific details about the demographics, topography and specific industries of a foreign country, according to Crane.

“I was confused whenever questions relevant to statistics and specific names came up. I think most of us were smart in naming cities and countries, as well as their whereabouts, but the most difficult ones were those consisting of numbers and details,” said Crane.

On a question about a specific industry in Argentina, four contestants buzzed with different answers, and none of them were able to answer the question correctly.

This was the first competition in two years where no female finalists made it to the finals.

“It was interesting to see that the finalists consisted of six boys only. In the future, I hope to see more female candidates for the All-School Geograbee,” said Susanne Torabi, GeograBee and International Student Coordinator.

Torabi wrote the questions for this year’s competition. Many of her questions were based on information from the National Geographic website. To prepare for the competition, she suggested that student contestants take a daily 10 question quiz on the website.

“I don’t hide my sources from students. Everyone can choose to learn more about geography throughout the year by taking the quiz and coming back stronger for next year’s GeograBee,” she said.

The purpose of holding the annual GeograBee is to give students the opportunity to learn more about different regions, peoples and cultures and to promote the student body’s interest in world geography and history, according to Torabi.

“The world has become so small now and there are so many places we don’t know about. It should be a daily endeavor [to think] about other people and places, and to go outside of the comfort zone,” said Torabi.

Forty-two dormitories will receive pizza munches for their “perfect” participation in this year’s Geograbee contest. In order to qualify for the munch, all students in the dorm had to participate in and the average of their scores had to be higher than 50 percent in the initial round.