• These four young geographers will represent Canada on the world stage at the 2018 iGeo competition in Quebec City

    These four young geographers will represent Canada on the world stage at the 2018 International Geography Olympiad in Quebec City.

For the first time ever, Canadian students will have a chance to test their geographical knowledge and skills against some of the world’s best and brightest young geographers when Canada hosts the 15th annual International Geography Olympiad this summer.

Organized by the International Geographical Union (IGU), the iGeo is a competition for 16 to 19 year old geography students. From July 31 to August 6, students chosen to represent their countries will gather in Quebec City to compete in this year’s iGeo. They will have to complete a written test, a multimedia test and substantial fieldwork requiring observation, cartographic representation and geographical analysis.

This year marks the first time in the history of the event that Canada will send a team, and it is also the first time Canada will play host to the global competition. The event is being held in conjunction with the bilingual Congress of the International Geographical Union, Canadian Association of Geographers, and National Council of Geographical Education. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is an important supporting partner of this year’s iGeo.

The students compete for prestige and recognition; many top universities send headhunters to the event to scope out and recruit young talent. The overarching goals of the competition are to encourage young people to pursue advanced studies in geography and foster greater global understanding and collaboration between young scholars.  

Beth Dye, Vice-Principal at Twin Rivers Education Centre in Kamloops, B.C. and co-chair of the local organizing committee, says the event is important because it gives students with a passion for geography the opportunity to forge dynamic relationships which can help solve future global geopolitical problems.

“Gathering students for an international geography competition creates a positive synergy for intellectual thought and challenges to the status quo. It’s also a time to socialize with new friends,” says Dye, who is also a former Governor of the RCGS and the recipient of its 2017 Geographic Literacy Award. “It is a personal and professional honour to be involved with this event.”

Meet Team Canada

Malhaar Moharir, 17
University of Toronto Schools, Toronto

Malhaar participates in Model United Nations Conferences and plays soccer. He is considering a career in journalism, medicine or diplomacy. His role model is his geography teacher, who has encouraged his participation in competitions such as iGeo. One of his favourite travel adventures was a road trip on the east coast of Quebec.

Malhaar Moharir

Jack Cheng, 17
Western Canada High School, Calgary

Jack is the founder of the Western Canada High School Geography Club, plays piano, and enjoys travelling to understand the culture and history of different nations. He is interested in chemistry, biology, history, and geography, and wants to pursue a career in medicine, biomedical research and geoscience. Jack was also the winner of the 2016 Canadian Geographic Challenge

Jack Cheng

Ben Woodward, 17
London Central Secondary School, London, Ont.

Ben is on his school’s Reach For The Top team, is an avid reader, and plays squash. Ben has visited many regions of North America including the remote Haida Gwaii archipelago off British Columbia. He is looking forward to connecting with like-minded students from around the world. Ben was also the winner of the 2017 Canadian Geographic Challenge

Ben Woodward

Zhongtian Wang, 18
London Central Secondary School, London, Ont.

Zhongtian wants to become a computer scientist and is interested in the diversity of Canadian landscapes and ecosystems. Her role model is her English teacher, who has been a constant source of support over the years.

Zhongtian Wang