Two Conway students have been named as semifinalists to the National Geographic State Bee by the National Geographic Society.
Simon Middle School seventh grader Alex D'Agostino, the son of Rob and Katherine D'Agostino, and Courtway Middle School sixth grader Stephen Chesshir, the son of John and Summer Chesshir, are eligible to compete in the 2018 Arkansas National Geographic Bee competition, now in its 30th year, April 6 at the University of Central Arkansas.
To determine each school champion, spelling bees with fourth through eight grade students were held throughout the state; school champions then took a qualifying test and submitted to the National Geographic Society, that in turn, invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Dependent Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the state events.
To celebrate the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, the cash prize for the top three students in each state has doubled with each champion set to receive $200, the "National Geographic Visual Atlas of the World: Second Edition" and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters May 20-23.
Students that come in second place will receive $150 and those that come in third will receive $100.
The first-place national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll.
Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.
Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships.
Visit www.natgeobee.org for more information on the National Geographic Bee.
National Geographic will also stream the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship starting May 24 at www.natgeobee.org.