Over the past year, four million students grades 4th through 8th have studied, practiced, and participated in the National Geographic Bee. On Monday, 54 finalists from across the nation came to compete in Washington, DC, and Morgantown's own Andrew Christy was one of them.
“We always had a globe and I liked watching 'Where in the World is Matt Lauer' and I would find places on the globe but until fifth grade I did’t even know what a Geography Bee was," said Andrew Christy.
The road to Monday's Geographic Bee has been a long one. This year marks Andrew's third and final time competing in the national bee as he graduated eighth grade this spring. His goal this time around is finishing in the Top Ten.
"My mom printed off a bunch of lists like of capitals and biggest cities and rivers so I would look at those and different books," said Andrew Christy.
Andrew credits his parents, especially his mother, for his success.
"He’s studied quite a bit. I mean every quiz on National Geographic Bee site and so he does a quiz almost every day," said Andrew's mother Laura Steiner Christy.
Though Andrew was a top finisher in his preliminary group, he missed two questions and did not make the Top Ten cut.
“I’m sad that I didn’t get into the top ten," said Andrew. "I think my score was good so I am fine with that."
While the competition may be over for Andrew, family and friends agree that his love for exploring the world is just beginning.
“I think that he will always be a traveler and I think that is, I think what I like the most about this because he is always going to have an interest in the world," said his mother.
Andrew's final score placed him 18th in the competition. The top ten finalists will compete on Wednesday, and the final round will air on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD at 7 p.m. Thursday.