Moustafa ’14 Takes First Place in 19th Annual GeograBee

Adham Moustafa ’14 was crowned Andover’s 19th annual GeograBee champion on Tuesday in Upper Right of Paresky Commons by Peter Drench, Instructor in History. The GeograBee is an annual, school-wide competition encompassing geography, culture and current events. The competition began at a dorm level, where all students answered questions to the best of their ability. Questions are asked until the number of students dwindles down to either one, two or three in each dorm, depending on the size of the dorm. The dorm winners then competed against each other at the cluster level, further paring down the contenders to a single cluster winner. A day student contest was also conducted and produced a day student representative. Moustafa of West Quad North Cluster, Jongho Park ’16 of Flagstaff Cluster, Tucker Drew ’17 of Abbot Cluster, Harry Wright ’14 of Pine Knoll Cluster, Miguel Wise ’14 of West Quad South Cluster, and David Shamritsky ’17, the day student representative, were the winners of their respective pools and all participated in the finals. The format of the finals evolved into a Quiz-Bowl style contest, with the contestants buzzing in before saying their answers aloud. The student who answered the most number of questions correctly won the Geograbee. Moustafa said he has always been fascinated by maps and mapmaking and his grandparents are both geographers. Moustafa has previously participated in similar competitions that tested more general knowledge including geography and culture. Last year, Moustafa advanced to the cluster finals of the Bee. “I was surprised. I was up against really tough competitors and I never thought I’d win at all. It all came close in the end and it was only a few points between me and the next competitor,” said Moustafa. Susanne Torabi, International Student Coordinator and organizer of the GeograBee, was in charge of finding questions for the contest. “I [find] a lot of the questions on the National Geographic site. There is a section on top [of the GeograBee page] that says ‘take the quiz,’ and every day they throw out ten questions, so if you go through that for a couple of months, you’re good to go,” she said. She also visits for material to use. In order to incentivize students to participate in the competition, dorms that achieved 100 percent participation and a 50 percent average on the first ten questions will receive a pizza munch during Spring Term. The first place winner of the finals is awarded $100, second place $50 and third place $25. This year, Torabi has seen a dramatic increase in day student participation, and overall better scores among the students. She also has noticed that international students empirically fared quite well. She attributes the trend to the number of so-called “third-culture kids” in that group—students who live outside of their parents’ cultures, but have an understanding of their heritage, providing them with a more developed world view. Torabi noticed that there were no females who made it to the final round of the Geograbee, though she is unsure of the cause of the gender imbalance.