ABERDEEN, S.D. – Mark Vanderzee, an eighth-grader from George S. Mickelson Middle School in Brookings, took top honors at the 2013 South Dakota state-level Geographic Bee today at Northern State University.
The second-place winner was Bridger Gordon, seventh-grader from Sturgis Williams Middle School. The third-place winner was Abby Otten, an eighth-grader from Aberdeen’s Holgate Middle School.
The state winner will receive $100 and the “Complete National Geographic on DVD.” He will represent South Dakota in the national finals of the bee at National Geographic Society headquarters May 20-22. The National Geographic Bee is organized by the National Geographic Society. This year’s state sponsors are Google and Plum Creek.
Up to 100 fourth- to eighth-graders in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Atlantic and Pacific territories, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools took part in today’s state-level bees.
First prize in the national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finishers receive $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships. The national winner will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, to the Galápagos Islands. The winner will experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the wildlife and landscape of Galápagos. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.
National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round of the 2013 National Geographic Bee, moderated by “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, on Thursday, May 23. It will be aired later on public television stations; check local television listings for date and time.