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Arielle Kirven wins geography bee

History teacher, Samantha McCoy, left, congratulates Arielle Kirven who won the geography bee at the Convent of the Sacred Heart school.

Convent of the Sacred Heart eighth grader Arielle Kirven of Weston won the school’s championship of the National Geographic Bee. Arielle now moves on to the next level, which is the statewide National Geographic Bee scheduled in April.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the middle school students at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich have competed in the National Geographic Bee.

In January, the students in grades five through eight competed in grade-level preliminary rounds, facilitated by their history teachers. The field was narrowed to the following eight contestants: Taylor Pratt and Chiara Schmidt in fifth grade, Callie Barr and Ella Holl in sixth grade, Laura Holland and Kate Ruberti in seventh grade, and Aisling Byrne and Arielle Kirven in eighth grade.

These “final eight” competed in the middle school championship. “The questions in these final rounds are always challenging, but the difficulty varies,” said Samantha L. McCoy, eighth grade history teacher, who delivered the questions to the students in the final rounds.

As the questions became increasingly more challenging, the field narrowed, until there were only two competitors remaining in the final round: sixth grader Callie Barr and eighth grader Arielle Kirven.

Ms. McCoy told them the winner would be the student who had the most correct responses out of three questions delivered verbally.

The final round consisted of this tricky question, which probably stumped many of the adults in the audience, too: “The Yaghan were a nomadic tribe indigenous to Tierra del Fuego, an island group that is divided between Argentina and what other country?” (Answer: Chile.)

With the most correct answers, Arielle now goes to the next level of competition in the National Geographic Bee, which is the statewide championship scheduled for April 5.

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