Connecticut High School Geography Challenge

High School Students Compete in Geography Competition

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High school students from around the state put their geography skills and knowledge to the test at the 29th Connecticut High School Geography Challenge.

High school students from around the state put their geography skills and knowledge to the test at the 29th Connecticut High School Geography Challenge.

The first challenge required them to answer some geography-related questions and find their way around Central Connecticut State University using a compass.

“That’s fun. That’s getting them out of their seats and doing geography,” said Kathleen Ryan, a retired social studies teacher and the co-chairman of the planning committee.

This year, there were 15 high schools from Danbury to Manchester that competed, and the challenges focused on global climate change.

Ryan, as well as teachers and students who competed, said they were excited because they’ve waited for two years to compete after COVID forced them to cancel the competition in 2020 and 2021.

“We have a team of nine phenomenal young people who have dedicated their entire last two years to studying, preparing, really gearing up for this incredible opportunity,” said Rachel Torres, a social studies teacher at Newtown High School.

Torres said she was so proud of her students who have waited for this moment.

When the students from Newtown High couldn’t compete last year, they took the initiative to organize a geography bee for younger middle-school-aged students and Ryan Michlovitz won. He is now a freshman competing on the high school team.

“I’m so proud of him,” said Torres. “He’s a freshman. He stepped into a space that is predominately upper-class students and he won our geography bee that we held for our younger students. So, it’s a real honor.”

The Newtown High team was hopeful their hard work would pay off.

“I’m kind of excited. I hope we do well,” Michlovitz said.