KALAMAZOO — A hundred students from all around Michigan will gather at Western Michigan University April 5 to compete in the 2013 Michigan National Geographic Bee, sponsored by Google and Plum Creek.

This is the 23rd anniversary of the Bee.

The students hail from every corner of the state, from Ann Arbor to Ada, from Monroe to Houghton.

Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school’s Bee winner. School winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The society then invited the students with the top 100 scores to compete at the state level.

The state bee will be held at WMU’s Fetzer Center. The state winner will receive $100, the “Complete National Geographic on DVD,” and a trip to Washington, D.C., where he or she will represent Michigan in the national finals at National Geographic Society headquarters May 20-22. The first place national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the Society. The national winner will also receive a trip along with one parent or guardian to the Galapagos Islands.

Second- and third-place finishers receive $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.

More at www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee.

The final round, moderated by Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, will be held Thursday, May 23, and will be rebroadcast on public TV stations.

The top 10 national finalists for 2013 along with last year’s top 10 will be eligible for selection for the three-person team to represent the United States at the National Geographic World Championship in July, to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

John Fahey, National Geographic Society chairman and CEO, said: “2013 is a special year for us as we celebrate two important anniversaries: the Society’s 125th and the National Geographic Bee’s 25th. As we look to the future — and an exciting new age of exploration — our work of fostering young talent who will be the scientists, explorers and brightest minds of tomorrow is more important than ever. Through the National Geographic Bee and our other activities, we hope to encourage a lifelong passion for learning about the world and its many wonders, challenges and opportunities for exploration and discovery.”


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