Geography champ Henry Jensen heads to state GeoBee

  • Wed Mar 20th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by the Friday Harbor Elementary School

Friday Harbor Elementary School fifth-grade student Henry Jensen was chosen by the National Geographic Society as a semifinalist in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee Washington state competition. The contest will be held at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, on Friday, March 29. Henry was a contender at the state level last year as well.

Elementary school teacher Ellyn Goodrich has been instrumental this year in organizing the GeoBee efforts, according to Henry’s mother Sara Jensen. Dave Pippin spearheaded the bee last year though he is now teaching in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite the distance, Pippin continues to assist and inspire Henry.

“Henry would like to thank Mr. Pippin, who introduced him to the GeoBee and still, even across 3,148.6 miles, still remains his study buddy,” Sara Jensen said.

This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 31st year. School GeoBees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society invites up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the state GeoBees.

This year, National Geographic increased the prize money for all state GeoBees. State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Championship at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19–22. Students that come in second and third place will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.

Each state champion will advance to the national championship and compete for cash awards and college scholarships. This year the national champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll; second place will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; third place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; and seven runners-up will each receive $1,000 in cash each. Visit for more information on the National Geographic GeoBee.


Contributed photo. GeoBee contender Henry Jensen.

Contributed photo. GeoBee contender Henry Jensen.