Nine students from Baird Middle School participated in the school level competition of the National Geographic Bee, a competition BMS has a been a part of for well over 20 years. According to their website, “Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.”
Mrs. Laura O’Keefe, the Social Studies Chairperson at Baird Middle School was again, this year, the contest's official coordinator and moderator, with the following social studies teachers serving as the official timekeepers and judges: Mr. Kevin Weiss, Mr. Dennis Quinn, Ms. Anna Baboval, Ms. Bonnie Manchester, and Mrs. Tina Russo.
Three 6th graders, two 7th graders, and four 8th graders were the top scorers in the school-wide preliminary competition. 6th grade contestants included Gabrielle Gonsalves, Torcato Zina, and Alex Brown, the 7th grade was represented by Collyn Desroches and Ava Kochanowicz, and the 8th grade participants were Dyani Reyes, JB Pontes, Liam Smyth, and Patrick Casagrande. After many rounds, Torcato Zina won the honor of school champion, with Patrick Casagrande coming in second place.
At the conclusion of the competition Mrs. Stacy Monette, BMS Principal commented, "I was very impressed with all of the geography bee candidates, and their knowledge of the material. There were some very tough questions that were asked and the students never hesitated in answering. I want to give a huge thank you to the history department for their professionalism and organization in running this event.”
Mrs. O’Keefe explained that Torcato will now participate in an online geography exam that could qualify him to compete at the state level this spring.