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The Varna Community Association is hosting GeoWhiz, a new educational program, to promote geographic literacy for adults and teens. GeoWhiz is a fun and entertaining competition where teams answer a variety of questions on geography. It's a lot like a spelling bee but with questions about geography.

NOVEMBER 10, 2018, 1pm
The Space @ Green Star
700 West Buffalo St. Ithaca NY

How to Participate:
Create a team of one to three people, ages 13 or older. Give your team a name.

Fill out the
registration form and submit your payment.
By mail: GeoWhiz, Varna Community Association, PO Box 4771, Ithaca NY 14852-4771.
By credit card: use donation button below

Registration deadline: November 1, 2018

Teams will be quizzed on the geography of Tompkins County (~20%), New York State (~25%), the United States and US territories (~30%) and the rest of the world (~25%).

Questions may be based on physical features (such as rivers, mountains, etc.), political jurisdictions, historical features, or cultural and economic forces that have resulted in changes to the landscape.

Sample questions:

1. In what state was the golden spike hammered in to complete the US trans-continental railroad?

2. What geological features of the local landscape have contributed to a popular bumper sticker slogan for Ithaca?

3. The Port of NY and NJ is the third busiest port in the US. Which port is busiest?

4. What is the name of the Central American country formerly known as British Honduras?

Basic rules for GeoWhiz

Before GeoWhiz, team members work on finding sponsors and collecting donations to be turned in on Nov. 10. Studying is good too!

On Nov. 10, each team will sit together at a table and may converse quietly but must not communicate with other teams or audience members. No electronic devices are allowed. Each team will be given supplies for writing answers.

After a question is presented, teams will have 40 seconds to confer before time is called and answers are revealed. Questions are leveled, with harder questions worth more points than easier questions. Teams may choose to pass on any question during regular play but not during the elimination round.

Prizes will be awarded for:
  • Most points earned for correct answers
  • Last team standing in the elimination round
  • Best team name (audience votes!)
  • Most money raised from sponsors/donors
  • Greatest number of sponsors/donors
  • Most creative wrong answer (audience votes!)

Audience members can play along while supporting the teams.

Proceeds from team registrations, individual and corporate sponsorships will benefit the many services provided by the Varna Comment Association, including our public playground, Varna After School Program, and our commercial kitchen that works as an incubator for small food businesses.

A small pilot version of GeoWhiz was held in January 2018. Here's are some feedback comments:

…This was a fabulous event, with terrific organization, a well-thought-out plan for the game, a great opportunity for audience participation, and a very good mix of interesting and challenging questions.
David, audience member
Thanks for doing this! It was great! Harder than expected but very fun!
GeoWhiz participants