ADAMS TOWNSHIP — All students at Clinton-Massie Middle School recently competed in a National Geographic Bee Preliminary Competition in their Social Studies/American History classes to determine the school’s Top 10 finalists for the school competition.
School finalists were sixth-grader Micah Wissman; seventh-graders Jarren Gale, Luke Goodwin, Joey Kocher and Owen Trick; and eighth-graders Jacob Conard, Ethan Johnson, Malachi O’Leary, Ben Smith and Abbey Steed.
School finalists then competed in a school-wide Geography Bee competition. Joey Kocher, a seventh-grader at Clinton-Massie Middle School, won the school competition of the National Geographic Bee and a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship. Eighth-grader Ben Smith finished runner-up in the competition.
The competition was an intense and suspenseful event for participants and audience alike, as both Kocher and Smith answered 23 rounds of questioning in the preliminary, finalists, and championship rounds, battling back and forth through 10 rounds in the final championship.
The school Bee, where students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world.
Curt Bradshaw, Coordinator of Gifted Services for the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (ESC), moderated the event. Social Studies teachers Betsy Wellman, Jen Henderson and Jim Wagner served as judges for the competition. Jill Binau, Gifted Intervention Specialist with the Southern Ohio ESC, helped to organize the event.
Thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories are participating in the 2018 National Geographic Bee. The school champions, including Kocher, have recently completed a qualifying test; up to 100 of the top scores on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee on April 6.
The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for state winners to participate in the Bee national championship rounds May 20-23. The first-place national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour II.
Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee. The National Geographic Society developed the National Geographic Bee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.