Scores of young geography buffs from across Canada gathered online on April 19 to duke it out over three scholarship prizes and the title of Great Canadian Geography Challenge winner. Kyle Richardson took first place, Jacob Burnley was second, and Lucas Grande came in third.

The Great Canadian Geography Challenge is one of the longest-running programs of the Canadian Council for Geographic Education (CCGE). Now entering its 18th year, the Challenge has inspired more than two million Canadian students to become more geographically literate.

The success of the students comes, in part, from dedicated teachers such as Geoff Buerger, a CCGE executive and the principal of Diamond Jenness Secondary School, in Hay River, N.W.T. For the past four years, Buerger has encouraged his students to complete multiple levels of the competition.

“The Challenge is a great enrichment activity for all students,” he says. “It activates prior knowledge and stimulates interest in new topics.”

Beth Dye, chair of the CCGE’s national coordinating committee for the Challenge, has been involved with the program since its inception. “The Great Canadian Geography Challenge provides students who are passionate about geography the opportunity to compete with other learners and demonstrate their knowledge,” she says. “It fills a special niche for those learners who want to geographically analyze their world.”

To learn more about the Challenge, meet this year’s winners and view past questions, visit www.geochallenge.ca.