A Global Uprising

Amaya Mikolič-Berrios ‘21
EE News Editor

Student teams begin orienteering exercise at the 2017 CT High School Geography Challenge.

A new club is on the rise at Trumbull High School. A mix of academics and competition, the geography club caters to those eager to learn. Although not a formal club yet, the ACE foundation has sponsored the group’s participation in the Connecticut High School Geography Challenge. THS is being represented by two teams of five students who will compete with high schools around Connecticut.

The competition, held on Wednesday, May 22 at Central Connecticut State University, includes four challenges that test the students’ knowledge of geography as well as the annual theme of the competition. This year, the competitors must be knowledgeable on the topic of global health and disease and should be informed on current developments, such as recent measles outbreaks and anti-vaccination trends. Beyond this, the students must have an extensive knowledge of the physical and human geography of the world.

The two advisors, Mrs. Brienza and Mr. Guertin, are aiming to make the group a formal club next year, after placing in the competition. Currently, the students are gathering information on topics of global health and disease, such as mental health, healthcare, and immunizations, while continuing to study their basic geography in preparation.

On the date of the competition, the teams will be faced with four tasks. The first, called modified orienteering, involves the use of a compass to collect and solve clues in order get to the end of the course, all the while answering questions on global health and disease. A forty-five minute deadline is placed on the teams, who must reach the final destination before this time. The second task is map reading, where the students will be provided with an assortment of different types of maps which will be used to answer specific questions.

Next, the students will complete a geographic problem solving activity where they must rely on their knowledge of geography and global health and disease, along with the provided clues, to determine the location of a gang of fourteen spies. This task, which has been likened to an escape room, forces students to apply their knowledge of the world to solving the mystery of “the gang of fourteen”, as the spies are called. The final task is a classic geography bowl where teams work together for fifteen seconds to determine the answers of various questions.

In order to prepare for these activities, the participants must practice reading maps, using a compass, and analyzing spatial data. The extent of the content that needs to be learned is daunting, yet is matched by the student’s determination. Meetings take place twice a month where the two teams work together to accumulate research and practice the skills that will be needed to succeed in the competition.

Since it is Trumbull’s first time participating in the challenge, the group does not know what to expect, but is excited at the possibility of placing in the competition. They are happy to be extensively delving into new and exciting material as well as learning necessary skills such as orienteering and map reading.

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