|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BEN VAN PAASSEN WINS SUNAPEE MIDDLE SCHOOL’S GEOGRAPHIC BEE
Moves One Step Closer to $50,000 College Scholarship
SUNAPEE, NH, JANUARY 7, 2014 – Ben, an eighth grade student at Sunapee Middle School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 7 and a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship. The school-level Bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 26th annual National Geographic Bee. This year’s Bee is sponsored by Google (visit www.google.com/help/maps/education).
Other school finalists include: Runner-up Joel Rechisky, third place Jackie Balch, Kayleigh Bean, Mac Cahill, Robert Carney, Ryan Fleury, Will Keegan, Peter Koumrian and Blaise O’Mara.
The kickoff for this year’s Bee was the week of November 11, with thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participating. The school winners, including Ben, will now take a written test; up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee, April 4, 2014.
The National Geographic Society will provide and all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, for state champions and teacher-escorts to participate in the Bee national championship rounds May 19 - 21, 2014. The first-place national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the Society, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic (visit www.expeditions.com ).
Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will moderate the national finals on May 21. The program will air on television. Check local listings for dates and times.
Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the new and exciting GeoBee Challenge, an online geography quiz at www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee, which poses 10 new questions a day, or by downloading the “National Geographic GeoBee Challenge” app, with more than 1,000 questions culled from past Bees, from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; from the Android Market; or for Nook Color.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge, the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
CONTACT: Laura Kessler, SMS Geography Bee Coordinator, 603.763.5615