Scenes from the Turtle Creek Geography Bee

Turtle Creek Elementary School competed in the National Geographic Bee for the first time in school history, with the school’s top 10 performers having a showdown on Thursday, Jan. 7.

The Top 10 students in the Turtle Creek Geography Bee this year included, front row from left: Ybeth Gloria, Cristina Lopez, Seth Robers, Luis Nova, and Holly Truckenbrod; back row from left: Anna Cano, Anthony Ross, Taylor McKinney, Grace Maynard and Seth Kirsch. CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS

The event was coordinated by fifth grade teacher Patrick Wrubble. More than 150 fourth and fifth graders at Turtle Creek competed.

The top three finishers were all fifth graders. Grace Maynard was the school’s champion. Runners up were Taylor McKinney and Seth Robers, respectively.

Maynard has the opportunity to take a written test to see if she qualifies for the state competition. Winners from each state competition move on to a championship round in Washington D.C. for a chance to win scholarships, trips abroad and other prizes from the National Geographic Society.

Wrubble said the event went very smoothly and the students had a lot of fun learning and competing.

“This is something we’ll do from now on,” he said. “The questions were super tough. The best part was watching when somebody got one right, you’d hear a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the audience.”

Even some of the parents seemed shocked by the difficulty of the questions and were impressed by how the fourth and fifth graders could answer them, Wrubble said.

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