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Oasis Middle student to take part in National Geographic GeoBee

By Staff | Mar 5, 2020

An eighth grade student at Oasis Middle School has qualified for his fifth consecutive appearance at the National Geographic GeoBee state finals.

“I was the only person in Cape Coral to qualify for the state finals this year and the only person in the history in Cape Coral to qualify for all five years,” Tyler Feichthaler, the son of Eric and Mary Feichthaler, said. “I feel very proud.”

The GeoBee, which began in 1988 by the National Geographic Society, includes a school, state and national competition to promote geographic knowledge for youth in fourth through eighth grade. Nearly 10,000 schools participate in the competition annually. To date more than 120 million students have learned about the world through GeoBee.

The National Geographic GeoBee Florida competition will be held March 27, at Jacksonville University.

Tyler said he was among the top 100 best scores for the online Florida exam. The winners, up to 100 of the top scoring students, from the school champions took an online qualifying test, which was submitted to the National Geographic Society.

Other Lee County winners include Timothy (Bo) Hogan, an eighth grade student from Canterbury School; seventh grader Sophia Henriquez from Cypress Lake Middle School and Nicholas Snow, seventh grade student, from Three Oaks Middle School.

Now in its 32nd year, an estimated 2.4 million students competed in the GeoBee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions.

Tyler said there were 10 children who participated in the GeoBee at his school, ranging from sixth to eighth grade.

“I find it interesting,” he said of geography. “So many places in the world that are diverse and they are different. It’s interesting to me and I like to learn more about them.”

He first learned about the GeoBee when his brother was in fourth grade and entered the school level competition. Tyler said he knew quite a few answers and decided to enter the competition the following year. That year he won and went to the state finals.

During his sixth grade year he placed 11th, getting all of his questions right, tying with a few others.

Other years he has not made it past the preliminaries.

The state champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash, as well as other prizes, and a trip to Washington, D.C. to represent their state in the National Championship May 18, through May 21.

A $25,000 college scholarship is awarded to the National Champion, as well as a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expense paid Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II.

To prepare himself a little more, Tyler has been using the GeoBee challenge, an app on his phone, that provides a few questions every day to answer, as well as reading.

“I feel more ready this year,” he said.