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School District Five students to compete in National Geographic State GeoBee

For Immediate Release – March 6, 2020



School District Five students to compete in National Geographic State GeoBee

IRMO – Four Lexington-Richland School District Five students have qualified to compete in the National Geographic State GeoBee on March 27 at Brookland Banquet and Conference Center.


The National Geographic Society invites 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State GeoBees.


School District Five students competing in the South Carolina GeoBee are: Kade Arnold (Chapin Intermediate/grade 6), Ryan Becker (Chapin Middle/grade 8), Prabhav Gudapati (Irmo Middle/grade 6), and Adam Roberts (Oak Pointe Elementary/grade 4).


Oak Pointe Elementary fourth grader Adam Roberts described his experience participating in the competition stating, “"At the start, I was very nervous, but super excited!  Then, at the end, I was overwhelmed with joy!  My teacher said that was the first time in school history that there were 6 tie-breakers!".


"It is an honor to make it to state. I am excited to compete and see what the environment will be like,” said Irmo Middle sixth grader Prabhav Gudapati. “I don't know what to expect, but I hope it will be similar to the preliminary competition rounds. I would like to make it all the way to nationals."


School District Five coordinator of social studies Melony Sanford noted the importance of the geography competition and how it benefits students in the district. Sanford said, “I am extremely proud of all of the district students who participate in school and state GeoBee competitions. The competitions directly tie in with our district mission of developing productive citizens who can contribute to a global society.  In order to truly contribute to a global society, students must be geographically literate which is what this competition helps develop.”


School GeoBees were held in nearly 10,000 schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 32nd year.


“Prabhav being named one of the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Semifinalist is incredibly exciting and evidence of his hard work and dedication,” said Irmo Middle School principal Cassy Paschal.  “Prabhav is dedicated to learning, exploring and capturing every educational moment possible. I know he will represent Irmo Middle School International Academic Magnet well as he has already made us so proud.”


Questions answered by the students during the competition range from “Host of the 1984 Winter Olympics, Sarajevo is the most populous city in which European country that was once a part of Yugoslavia?” to “The Matterhorn is an iconic peak in the Alps on the border between Switzerland and what other country?”


Each State Champion will advance to the National Championship and compete for cash awards and college scholarships. One champion from each state and territory will advance to the National Geographic GeoBee Championship, which will be held May 18-21 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. The 2020 GeoBee national champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll.


Developed by the National Geographic Society in 1988 to promote geographic knowledge among young people in the United States, the National Geographic GeoBee is an academic competition for public schools, private schools, and homeschools in the United States and its territories, as well as the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS).


The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1888, National Geographic has been pushing the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas to increase understanding of our world and generate solutions for a healthy, more sustainable future for generations to come.