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 the maps for all Scholastic Classroom Magazines—more than 30 different publications!
Using his map expertise for the contest, Jim provides geography clues for students to test their creative and critical-thinking skills by identifying the year’s mystery location and drawing a map of it.
This year, more than 3,000 students from 36 states and Washington, D.C., submitted entries. Jim and his wife Helen McMahon, a New York City public school teacher, select the winning maps each year.
This year’s grand-prize winner is Anna Becker, a ninth-grade student at Lenape High School in Medford, New Jersey! Her sixth-grade teacher Paul Devery first introduced her to the contest during the 2017/18 school year. Anna has kept in touch with her teacher ever since, and submitting an entry for the Can You Find Mapman? contest has become an annual tradition. In 2021, her focus and determination finally paid off!
Anna’s winning map is of Denmark. She won for her bold design reflecting the country’s past and present, including a Viking with a national flag, a Viking ship, a mute swan, and some of the colorful buildings you’d see in Copenhagen, framed by a bikes-only route.
Anna’s map is featured in the May 2021 issue of Junior Scholastic and online, here. In addition, Anna and her teacher Paul Devery will each receive $250. The names of 25 runners-up will also appear in the issue, and they will each get a Mapman T-shirt.
Congratulations to Anna and all of this year’s participants!
Don’t miss the Can You Find Mapman? contest in Junior Scholastic next year!