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Orono Middle School eighth-grader Jack Prisendorf won the school competition of the National Geographic Bee January 23. The school bee, at which students answer questions on geography, was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee. Prisendorf also won the school bee last year.
Eighth-grader Mitchell Erb and seventh-grader Joey Mariani placed second and third respectively in the school competition.
Rounding out the school’s top 10 finalists were, in alphabetical order Dexter Benson, Eli Hamer, Charlie Johnson, Hannah Ragan, Walter Royal, Marko Slipka and Ben Summers.
Thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories are participating in the 2018 bee. Prisendorf and other school champions will now take a qualifying test; up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state bee. The state championship in Minnesota will be Friday, April 6, at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
The national championship rounds will be held May 20-23 in Washington, D.C. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour II.
Over three decades, 1,583 state champions have traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the finals. More than $1.5 million in college scholarship money has been awarded to the winners.