Grade 8 St. Justin Martyr student competes at the National Finals of the Canadian Geographic Challenge

The York Catholic District School Board congratulates Nicholas Ali, Grade 8 Student at St. Justin Martyr CES in Unionville who recently represented the Board at the National Finals of the Canadian Geographic Challenge!

The Canadian Geographic Challenge launched in 1995 as a way to encourage student interest in geography. Since then, the challenge has grown from 20 participating schools to more than 500, and has reached more than two million students across Canada. The challenge encourages students to push the limits of their geographic knowledge and apply their geographic thinking skills.

Now in its 26th year, the competition is continuously evolving, melding traditional learning styles with geographic literacy skills and new technology. The support of the Trebek Family Foundation has meant the competition can continue to be accessible, relevant and engaging for all students.

Nicholas was named the St. Justin Martyr School Champion earlier this year, then was invited to compete in the provincial round. His strong performance at the provincial level qualified him to be selected as one of 20 winners named Canada’s best geography students who were invited to participate in the National Finals, May 29-30, 2021. In the past, the National Finals was held at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society headquarters at 50 Sussex, in Ottawa, but this year it was held virtually due to the pandemic.

The National Finals was comprised of three parts: a written test, a field work test, and a live final. Scores from the written test and field work were used to determine the top five students who then participated in the live final, which was hosted in a game show-like format. Nicholas was one of the youngest competitors, which had students in Grades 7-10 compete for the top-five positions. Unfortunately, Nicholas did not qualify for the live final, but he represented our Board well! Congratulations Nicholas!