It’s been a difficult year for students across Canada, navigating distance learning and COVID-19 restrictions, but that hasn’t stopped some of them from taking on new challenges. Thousands of students participated in this year’s 26th annual Canadian Geographic Challenge. After months of hard work and hundreds of questions on all things geography-related, 20 student have risen to the top to compete for the title of National Champion.
The Challenge is open to Canadian students in grades 7-10 and features a series of classroom, school and provincial/territorial rounds before culminating in the National Final. This weekend, the country’s brightest young geographers will be tested on their knowledge, critical thinking and practical skills. Students will complete an independent fieldwork round and an online written test. From there, the top five competitors will advance to the trivia-style live final, which will be held virtually via videoconferencing on Sunday, May 30.
The National Final is typically an in-person event, but even though there won’t be an auditorium to fill with family and friends, anyone who wants to support the finalists can still watch the live final from home on Can Geo Education’s YouTube and Facebook channels. For geography enthusiasts, this is a perfect opportunity to follow along and test their mettle against Canada’s best young geography whizzes.
In the lead up to this weekend’s competition, Can Geo Education asked competitors to share a little about themselves, their interests, role models and aspirations. From geomatics engineers to climatologists, volcanologists and doctors to public policy analysts and architects — these students are dreaming big about how they can make their mark on the world.
Meet the 2021 Can Geo Challenge national finalists:
Grade 9, St. Andrew’s College, Newmarket, Ont.
Grade 10, Nepean High School, Ottawa, Ont.
Garde 10, Kennebacasis Valley High School, Quispamsis, N.B.
Grade 10, Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School, Toronto, Ont.
Grade 9, Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Ottawa, Ont.
Grade 7, St. Michaels University School, Victoria, B.C.
Grade 7, St. Anselm Catholic School, Toronto, Ont.
Grade 9, Milliken Mills High School, Markham, Ont.
Grade 9, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, Ont.
Grade 10, Milliken Mills High School, Markham, Ont.
Grade 8, Transfiguration of Our Lord Catholic School, Toronto, Ont.
Grade 8, Home school, Gaspé, Que.
Russel Kristian Fajardo
Grade 9, Notre Dame Regional Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C.
Grade 7, Woodbridge Public School, Woodbridge, Ont.
Grade 10, West Point Grey Academy, Vancouver, B.C.
Grade 10, London Central Secondary School, London, Ont.
Grade 8, Dolphin Senior Public School, Mississauga, Ont.
Grade 8, St. Justin Martyr Catholic Elementary School, Markham, Ont.
Grade 8, Webber Academy, Calgary, Alta.
Grade 8, Ashton Meadows Public School, Markham, Ont.