Participants of Geography Test Greeted from Space
The fifth international Geography Test was recently held in 110 countries around the world. HSE University hosted the event for the first time. HSE News Service spoke with some of the participants who came to test their knowledge of the earth and its geography.
‘This is not a hint, it is a red herring!’ said Grigory Tarasevich, a journalist and popular scientist, as he read the test questions to the audience. His remark made people smile. His desire to help and offer a hint was understandable, because the geography test is far from easy—participants have only 1 hour to answer40 questions. To complete the tasks, it is necessary to recall not only the geography course you took in school, but also the paintings of Nicholas Roerich, the plot of Don Quixote, and documentaries of Eldar Ryazanov. Grigory noted that this year the test creators gravitated towards the north - many of the geographical features that weretested were located in those latitudes.
Pavel Bezmenov, student at MGIMO, and Maria Yakovleva, student at Moscow State Pedagogical University
We chose to participate in the Geography Test as an interesting way to spend time together. Honestly, we have already had our share of cinema and theaters. Solving intellectual problems together brings people closer and also provides many topics for discussion.
The questions from the general block that stood out for us were on physical geography or based on interdisciplinary relationships, in which you could detect a clue, such as the question about the marble Stone of Tmutarakan.
Larisa Bagrova, retiree, with daughter Ekaterina
I always loved going out, hiking, and traveling. And now I read a lot about nature and animals. Honestly, I do not like fiction. Geographical discoveries,travels, and expeditions on the other hand are really interesting. The test today shows not only your knowledge of geography, but the breadth of your interest and curiosity, and your level of general education.
Elena Polyanskaya, student at Dubna University
I major in ecology and I have long wanted to take the Geography Test – I looked at past exercises online. Today I finally decided to come and I do not regret it one bit – the proctor here was pretty cool. And after the test, there was a lecture by Maria Sidorova on hydrology.
Polina Surchalova, Key Account Director
I came with my son who is in the seventh grade and some friends. We love geography very much, but after the test, I realized how little we know it. We need to learn more! Now I really want to buy a large map of the world and put it up at home.
Before the test started, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Skvortsov addressed the participants from the International Space Station. They wished everyone good luck and frequent travel in order to gain knowledge ‘in the field’.
In addition, Nikolay Kurichev, Dean of the Faculty of Geography and Geoinformation Technologies, and Stanislav Kutuzov, supervisor of the Global Climate and Environment Changes area, spoke about the new bachelor’s programme in Geography of Global Changes and Geoinformation Technologies that will be launched at HSE University next year.
After the test, Maria Sidorova, Researcher of the Hydrology Laboratory of the RAS Geography Institute, gave a talk entitled, ‘Where Does the Water Flow?’
‘How to start solving tomorrow's problems today?’ ‘Looking at our planet from space, it would be more appropriate to call it “Water”, but still water resources on Earth are limited, and many territories suffer from water shortages,’ said Maria Sidorova.
The cause of water shortages is the uneven distribution of water resources in relation to the population
For example, India, which has regions that receive the most rainfall in the world, suffers from dire water shortages, while Australia, one of the driest continents, does not. Russia ranks second globally in terms of water resources, but there are also regions in our country where the population and industry lack the resource, and there is simply no strategic vision for the use of resources in the long term. So, four times more water is imported into Russia than is exported from the country. According to the lecturer, it is competent water consumption on an industrial scale that will help reduce the deficit of this vital substance. To do this, it is necessary to increase awareness, through means such as public lectures and events like the Geography Test.
You can still take the test online. The online version of the test will be available here until 2 pm MSK time, October 31. The results of the test, taken offline, will be announced on November 29.