Since 1994, Scholastic’s resident cartographer Jim McMahon (aka Mapman) has overseen the Can You Find Mapman®? contest for Junior Scholastic®, a social studies magazine for students in grades 6-8.
In addition to working on the contest, Jim creates all of the maps for Scholastic Magazines+, which covers more than 30 publications.
Using his map expertise for the contest, Jim provides geography clues for students to test their creative and critical-thinking skills. They must identify the mystery location and draw a map of it. Jim and his wife Helen McMahon, a New York City public school teacher, select the winning maps.
This year, more than 2,000 students from 32 states submitted entries. The grand-prize winner is Orla-Niamh Wray, an eighth-grade student at the Nardin Academy in Buffalo, New York! She figured out the mystery location—the geyser Old Faithful—and created a stunning map of Yellowstone National Park.
Orla won for her entry’s clever design that celebrates Yellowstone’s wildlife, terrain, and history. Many details can be found on the map entry, including a ranger’s hat hanging on a map of the park and a souvenir license plate that marks the year Yellowstone was established as the nation’s first national park. The entry is also decorated with wildlife illustrations depicting a bear, an elk, and a bison surrounding a fire-pit and a colorful hot spring.
Orla’s map is featured in the May 2022 issue of Junior Scholastic and online here. In addition, Orla and her teacher Nicole Beahan each received $250. The names of 25 runners-up also appear in the issue, and they each got a Mapman T-shirt.
Congratulations to Orla and all of this year’s participants!
Don’t miss the Can You Find Mapman? contest in Junior Scholastic next year!