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8th Grade Festa Falcon Flies High at the Nat Geo Bee

Peter Grafstein Peter Grafstein, an eighth grader at Felix Festa Middle School, qualified to compete in the state level competition of the 2019 National Geographic Bee. The New York State Bee was held at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY on March 29, 2019.

When asked how he prepared, Grafstein said, “I studied a lot of maps and created scenarios. I also played history games like hearts of iron. I have prepared for this competition using a world atlas, as well as multiple quiz sites like jet punk. Geography is important because it gives us an understanding of the world we live in, and helps us realize where events are taking place”

All 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Felix Festa had the opportunity to take the qualifying exam. They answered questions in seven categories: State Savvy, History Happens, Ocean Wonders, Weird but True, World of Science, Odd One Out, and Culture Connection. The top ten scorers competed against each other--spelling bee style-- in late January. Mark Gorman is the Faculty advisor for the Geography Bee at Festa. When asked about Grafstein as a student of Geography, he was described as a committed student. Gorman said, "Peter has shown great dedication to learning about Geography. He was a finalist last year, and knocked off the defending school champion to represent our school in Albany.” The entire Falcon student body is very proud how Peter did in Albany. When asked about the National Geography Bee, Grafstein said, “I think the GeoBee is necessary for children interested in geography and social studies. While it may be hard, it is definitely worth it to enter, and you may win.” Grafstein can stick a feather in his cap and walk tall after getting 8/8 in the preliminary round of the state competition and placing third in New York State, Grafstein is truly a Geography Whiz.