For the last 26 years, 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.
Jim has a pretty neat job. In addition to working on the contest, he creates the maps for all Scholastic Classroom Magazines—there are more than 30 different publications!
Utilizing his map-expertise for the contest, Jim provides a series of geography clues, and students worldwide test their creative and critical-thinking skills by identifying the mystery location and drawing a map of it.
Nearly 3,500 entries from 33 states were submitted this year. Jim and his wife Helen McMahon, a New York City public school teacher, select all the winning maps.
This year’s grand-prize winner is Isla Day, a 14-year-old student at the Bay School in Blue Hill, Maine! She drew a map of Sri Lanka using markers, pens, colored pencils, and acrylic. Her colorful map features some of the things you’ll find in the South Asian country along with its national flag, including Buddha statues, carved masks, and elephants. Isla says “I know how important elephants are to Sri Lanka, so I drew one of them creating the country by spraying water with its trunk.”
Isla’s map will be featured in the upcoming May 2020 issue of Junior Scholastic and online, here. In addition, Isla and her teacher Ian Chittenden will each receive $250. The names of 25 runners-up, from 24 different states, will also appear in the issue, and they will each get a Mapman T-shirt.
Congratulations to Isla and all of this year’s participants!
Keep an eye out for the Can You Find Mapman? contest in Junior Scholastic next year.