Introduction to the 2022 Great St. Lawrence Trading Game

The Great St. Lawrence Trading Game immerses players into the economies of eight U. S. States and Canadian Provinces along the St. Lawrence Seaway. While both Canada and the United States have evolved into post-industrial economies dominated by high tech and information industries, natural resources and industrial production are still important. Much of that commerce is shipped on the waterway extending from the Gulf of Lawrence to Lake Superior. Both countries are global traders, but the United States and Canada are major trading partners with trade in each direction approaching a half trillion dollars. Trading between the Canadian Provinces such as Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba and American States such as Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Vermont is a major driver of their economies. While the United States cancelled the historic NAFTA trade agreement, it has been replaced by the similar United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which had been ratified by all three countries by March 2020.

This game greatly simplifies the Provincial and State economies in many ways. The four Resource regions and four Industrial regions are represented only as simplifications of their complex cultures and economies. It will give players a sense of the challenges facing both sets of regions. Players will deal with the twists and turns of history, while exercising and expanding their diplomatic, tactical, and negotiating skills. Knowledge of global maritime geography, strategy and a bit of luck will also play a minor role in determining the winner of The Great St. Lawrence Trading Game.

Geocaching is a popular hobby that involves using GPS and geographic skills to locate boxes containing objects, maps, and other items. We’ll take the concept of Geocaching and turn it into a Treasure Hunt with clues and puzzles to find, so that it will be a medal event at IGC. Many details, including exactly where this will take place and how the game rules will work will only be revealed at the start of the event, as the focus here is on real-time applications of geospatial reasoning, and not on devising a winning strategy in advance or studying beforehand on a particular topic.

This event is for Middle School & Elementary Division Students Only

Geographeud once again returns to the IGB Worlds event line up for 2022. This required team event sees two teams compete against each other in a competition reminiscent of the American game show Family Feud. In Geographeud, we ask teams to name one of the top five (or six, or seven, etc.) of a geographical category. For example “Excluding Brazil and Portugal, name the top five countries with the most Portuguese speakers.” Or, “Name the top six lakes by volume in the world.” Teams send up one of their players to buzz in on an initial guess – whoever gets the higher value controls the board (or can elect to pass). We then continue with the other team members, though once a team gets three strikes, the other team then can win the round by naming one of the remaining answers the first team missed. Of course if the first team gets all entries before getting three strikes, then they win.
The exact number of rounds will be a function of the overall number of teams; this will be determined in advance of IGC once registration closes.

Many geographically savvy students have enjoyed the Geoguessr game since it debuted online in 2013. We’ll play a modified version of it with the exact rules and requirements for it posted in advance of IGC in 2022.

Geopardy, as its name suggests, is a game based on the popular quiz show Jeopardy! with a number of adjustments so that we can make it a competition event for IGB Worlds. Up to 8 students compete at a time, selecting clues of varying values and difficulty from a grid of categories (all of which, of course, will have geographic themes). Students will not be able to ring in until the moderator has finished reading each question. If a student answers correctly, they get the points, and pick the next question.
For sake of keeping things clear to non-native English speakers (and those not as familiar with the game show), we will form the clues in the form of questions, and students will only need to give the answers (i.e. and not answer in the form of a question as on the show). There may be various hidden squares (i.e. not just Daily Doubles as on the show), but other twists as well. The number of rounds each student will play will be a function of how many players sign up, but all students will certainly get a chance to play at least one full game.

This event is for High School Division students only. This event counts 1/3 towards the individual IGC Championship Title for High School Division students.

Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, have become a critically important tool within the discipline of geography. As geographers have grown increasingly accustomed to using GIS in their work, it’s important that students looking to study geography in their university studies and careers gain a working understanding of GIS. For High School Division students only, we will thus be inaugurating a GIS competition at the International Geography Championships. The structure, rules, and evaluation criteria for this event will be developed in conjunction with professional geographers, and a summary of them, along with instructions on how best to prepare, will be posted on this page in the months leading up to the 2022 IGC.

Divisions: High School, Middle School, Elementary
Competition Type: Team, 6 different events
This is a required event for all competing students.

The Hextathlon (sometimes spelled Hexathlon; both versions are considered correct) is a collaborative team event where team members will work together to come up with correct answers on 6 different types of quizzes, including the following:
1. Crossword Puzzle Quiz
2. 3-2-1 Quiz
Teams will hear questions audibly and have the chance to submit an answer off a difficult clue for 3 points, a moderate clue for 2 points, or an easy clue for 1 point. Clues will be read in 3-2-1 order, with teams having an opportunity to submit an answer before the next clue is read. Teams can only submit 1 answer per question, however (i.e. you cannot submit an answer after each clue, or go back and change your answer upon hearing a later clue)
3. Multiple Choice Quiz
4. Map Quiz
5. Audio Quiz
6. Picture Quiz

There will be a limited amount of time for each version of the quiz (likely 12-16 minutes for each step), and each quiz will be worth the same amount in the overall score.

Divisions: High School, Middle School, Elementary
Competition Type: Individual, Non-Buzzer Quiz Game

Knockout is a competition unique to the International Geography Championships and the International History Olympiad.* Up to 10 players sit or stand in a circle. One player begins, and then selects another player – that player then has to answer a question correctly. If they don’t, they get a strike. If they answer correctly, then they get the chance to pick the next player. If you get a certain number of strikes, then you’re out! The top players move on to additional rounds. At the end of the rounds, the last players to get knocked out receive bronze and silver medals, and the sole survivor is the gold medalist.

* IGCd trivia note – The idea for this event comes from Jeder Gegen Jeden (translation: Each Against Everyone) – a German language TV quiz show. If you’re interested in seeing an episode of Jeder Gegen Jedenclick here. Even if you don’t speak German, you can probably get the gist of the show – and if you listen carefully, you may even be able to figure out a few of the questions and answers.

This event is for High School Division Students Only

For the 2022 International Geography Championships, we are introducing a new event whereby students will do their own research, the Symposium. First, students will write a 2000-3500 word geographic-themed research paper on a topic of their choice. The research paper must be entirely original, though it is permitted for students to submit a relevant paper that they have previously written as part of their academic studies in school or homeschooling. Papers must be formatted to include proper footnotes and a bibliography and should include a wide variety of sources. Any evidence of plagiarism will lead to immediate disqualification.

Students’ papers will be due on July 1, 2022, and will then be read by IGC staff. The top students will then be subject to an oral examination by their readers. Those who pass the oral examination will take part in the Symposium with historians, teachers, and academics (who will have read students’ papers in advance). The Symposium will consist of a final defense of the paper. The top three students, as selected by the readers and examiners will win the gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Note: You are welcome to use whichever citation format you prefer, although you must cite sources. Footnotes are preferred over endnotes, if you are using footnotes. You are also welcome to use MLA format (whereby, you would just indicate the author’s name [and work if citing more than one source by the same author] in parentheses, followed by the relevant page number). For all papers, a bibliography must be included, and a wide variety of sources (especially primary sources and interviews) is encouraged.

For the 2022 International Geography Championships, we are introducing a new event which showcases how geography plays a major role in global affairs and society: the Task Force. Four separate Task Forces will be offered at IGC 2022. The four topics will be Geographic Factors of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Vermont and Climate Change, Rainforest Conservation in Ecuador, and Urban Planning and Gentrification in Burlington.

All four task forces will be open to students in all age divisions (students will compete separately within their age division though), however the topics will be dealt with in a more complex way with each increasing age level.

Students who compete in each task force will write a 3-5 page paper in advance of IGC on a particular aspect of their Task Force topic. Task Forces and Topics will be assigned on June 20 (for students who have completed their event selection form by then) or if not, then on June 24. The paper will then be due at 11:59pm EDT on July 1. Once their task force has been assigned, students will also listen to online speakers, read articles, and familiarize themselves with the topic in advance of IGC.

At IGC, students will then come together in their age division groups, present their findings, listen to further presentations from experts, analyze further materials, and then draft a slate of recommendations to a particular audience regarding the topic.

Students can compete in multiple task forces if space is available, though priority is given to letting as many students as possible compete at least once before students are allowed to compete in multiple events. Students will be evaluated not only through their own research papers and presentations, but on how well they collaborate in the group (hint: talk less, listen more!) and the merits of their contributions to the final report.

Task Force Overview: Geographic Factors of the Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Perhaps no other issue in the world today is so central to international relations and security policy as the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. Imagine that your aim is to bring a quick and lasting peace to the war, and to prevent future conflicts that might stem from the results of the current one. How would you advise government officials who share your goals, no matter what country they are in? The recipient of this task force will be various government officials in all the world’s major powers and other countries who are most impacted by the conflict. Topics to research for students who will be participating in this task force include the following:
-Geographic impacts on army and naval movements
-Natural resources in Ukraine
-Food production, exports, and the coming global food security crisis
-How should countries that border Russia and/or Ukraine use geographic analysis to determine their policies?
-Refugee flows stemming from the crisis
-Geographic focus on the Donbas
-Geographic focus on Lukhansk
-What are the Russian war aims? How does geography impact them?
-What are the Ukrainian war aims? How does geography impact them?
-How should the USA, the EU, and China use geographic dimensions to determine their policies?

For the 2022 International Geography Championships, we are introducing a new event which showcases how geography plays a major role in global affairs and society: the Task Force. Four separate Task Forces will be offered at IGC 2022. The four topics will be Geographic Factors of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Vermont and Climate Change, Rainforest Conservation in Ecuador, and Urban Planning and Gentrification in Burlington.

All four task forces will be open to students in all age divisions (students will compete separately within their age division though), however the topics will be dealt with in a more complex way with each increasing age level.

Students who compete in each task force will write a 3-5 page paper in advance of IGC on a particular aspect of their Task Force topic. Task Forces and Topics will be assigned on June 20 (for students who have completed their event selection form by then) or if not, then on June 24. The paper will then be due at 11:59pm EDT on July 1. Once their task force has been assigned, students will also listen to online speakers, read articles, and familiarize themselves with the topic in advance of IGC.

At IGC, students will then come together in their age division groups, present their findings, listen to further presentations from experts, analyze further materials, and then draft a slate of recommendations to a particular audience regarding the topic.

Students can compete in multiple task forces if space is available, though priority is given to letting as many students as possible compete at least once before students are allowed to compete in multiple events. Students will be evaluated not only through their own research papers and presentations, but on how well they collaborate in the group (hint: talk less, listen more!) and the merits of their contributions to the final report.

Task Force Overview: The State of Vermont and Climate Change
Vermont is the site of the 2022 International Geography Championships and, like everywhere on the planet, it is feeling the effects of climate change. This task force will consider multiple facets of climate change as it impacts specifically Vermont. The recipient of the final report will be the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, Molly Gray. Possible topics that students might research in advance and debate at IGC include the following:
-Preparation for Natural Disasters: Drought, Hurricanes, Floods, Blizzards, Fires and More
-Climate Change and the Skiing / Winter Sports Industry
-Climate Change and Agriculture in Vermont
-A Climate Refuge (or Not)? Demographic consequences of climate change in Vermont
-Risk Assessments – who is most vulnerable and how can they be helped?
-Biodiversity in Vermont – how best to protect threatened and endangered species from the impacts of climate change
-Minimizing industrial carbon emissions in Vermont
-Minimizing transportation-based carbon emissions in Vermont
-The role of sustainable forestry in Vermont to protect against climate change
-A contrarian take: are there potential benefits to Vermont from the impacts of climate change?

For the 2022 International Geography Championships, we are introducing a new event which showcases how geography plays a major role in global affairs and society: the Task Force. Four separate Task Forces will be offered at IGC 2022. The four topics will be Geographic Factors of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Vermont and Climate Change, Rainforest Conservation in Ecuador, and Urban Planning and Gentrification in Burlington.

All four task forces will be open to students in all age divisions (students will compete separately within their age division though), however the topics will be dealt with in a more complex way with each increasing age level.

Students who compete in each task force will write a 3-5 page paper in advance of IGC on a particular aspect of their Task Force topic. Task Forces and Topics will be assigned on June 20 (for students who have completed their event selection form by then) or if not, then on June 24. The paper will then be due at 11:59pm EDT on July 1. Once their task force has been assigned, students will also listen to online speakers, read articles, and familiarize themselves with the topic in advance of IGC.

At IGC, students will then come together in their age division groups, present their findings, listen to further presentations from experts, analyze further materials, and then draft a slate of recommendations to a particular audience regarding the topic.

Students can compete in multiple task forces if space is available, though priority is given to letting as many students as possible compete at least once before students are allowed to compete in multiple events. Students will be evaluated not only through their own research papers and presentations, but on how well they collaborate in the group (hint: talk less, listen more!) and the merits of their contributions to the final report.

Task Force Overview: Ecuador and Climate Change
International Academic Competitions launched its Ecuadorian Division in early 2022. Along with organizing competitions, IAC is also aiming to launch several projects aimed at offsetting its carbon emissions through rain forest conservation efforts. This task force will be jointly led by IAC Executive Director, David Madden and IAC Ecuador Director of Operations Gabriel Roldos, who will in fact also be your audience for your recommendations. This is your chance to advise IAC on how it should direct its efforts to be most effective and have the greatest impact for climate change, while also looking at other aspects of rainforest conservation. Topics to consider will include:
-Land ownership rules
-Political climate and potential political risks
-Examples from other NGOs who are active in Ecuador
-Examples of using rainforests
-Carbon accounting – how to best measure the impacts
-Biodiversity in rainforests – how to maximize wildlife and plant conservation while simultaneously offsetting carbon emissions
-Ecotourism in rainforests
-How to best collaborate with indigenous communities in rainforests
-Economic uses of the rain forest – how to deal with companies and industries whose interests are not aligned with rainforest protection
-Sustainable agroforestry

For the 2022 International Geography Championships, we are introducing a new event which showcases how geography plays a major role in global affairs and society: the Task Force. Four separate Task Forces will be offered at IGC 2022. The four topics will be Geographic Factors of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Vermont and Climate Change, Rainforest Conservation in Ecuador, and Urban Planning and Gentrification in Burlington.

All four task forces will be open to students in all age divisions (students will compete separately within their age division though), however the topics will be dealt with in a more complex way with each increasing age level.

Students who compete in each task force will write a 3-5 page paper in advance of IGC on a particular aspect of their Task Force topic. Task Forces and Topics will be assigned on June 20 (for students who have completed their event selection form by then) or if not, then on June 24. The paper will then be due at 11:59pm EDT on July 1. Once their task force has been assigned, students will also listen to online speakers, read articles, and familiarize themselves with the topic in advance of IGC.

At IGC, students will then come together in their age division groups, present their findings, listen to further presentations from experts, analyze further materials, and then draft a slate of recommendations to a particular audience regarding the topic.

Students can compete in multiple task forces if space is available, though priority is given to letting as many students as possible compete at least once before students are allowed to compete in multiple events. Students will be evaluated not only through their own research papers and presentations, but on how well they collaborate in the group (hint: talk less, listen more!) and the merits of their contributions to the final report.

Task Force Overview: Urban Planning and Gentrification in Burlington
International Academic Competitions has its worldwide headquarters in Burlington, Vermont – the home city of the 2022 International Geography Championships. Burlington is a dynamic and unique city of approximately 50,000 people. It features a highly diverse population and affordability and gentrification have been major concerns in Burlington’s transition from an industrial city to a city whose economy focuses on education, health, tourism, and other services. How can we best ensure a high quality of life for residents of Burlington while keeping the city affordable and attractive for businesses? Why did IAC relocate to Burlington anyway? Why would other businesses (or not)? This task force will examine all aspects of the economic geography of Burlington and advise on possibilities for land usage and urban planning. The audience for your recommendations will be the office of the Mayor of Burlington, Miro Weinberger. Topics to consider will include:
-Affordable housing
-The big ditch in the middle of town
-Commercial rents and the pedestrian zone
-Burlington’s Waterfront
-Impacts from the beginning of Amtrak Service
-The role of NGOs in addressing affordability concerns
-Tax policy
-Burlington as a destination for refugees
-The role of the University of Vermont and Champlain College in Burlington’s land use patterns
-Parks and preserved spaces