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Geography Bee Winner Advances to State

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ethan Richter '22 has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2017 Minnesota National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held on Friday, March 31, 2017. Ethan previously competed and won the Breck Geographic Bee in January and went on to test for entry into the state-level competition. 

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 29th year. Ethan previously competed in Breck's Geography Bee in January, where fourth- through eighth-grade students competed for the top spot. School champions like Ethan then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 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 Bees.

Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, 4th 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 14-17, 2017. The 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. Visit for more information on the National Geographic Bee.

How would you fare as a Bee contestant? At the school Bees this year, students had to answer questions like these:

Q: The North Platte and South Platte Rivers meet in which state—New Mexico or Nebraska?

A: Nebraska


Q: Which landmark in Washington, D.C., was burned by the British in 1814—the Washington Monument or the White House?

A: White House


Q: Sea otters sometimes wrap themselves in kelp when resting to keep from drifting​ ​​away. Sea otters can be found near eastern Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk in which​ ​ocean?

A: Pacific Ocean


Q: The island of Mauritius [maw-RISH-uhs] in the Indian Ocean has multicolored sand dunes. It’s weird, but it’s true! Mauritius lies off the southeast coast of which continent that includes the Kalahari Desert?

A: Africa


Q: What is the term for an underground layer of rock that holds groundwater—an arroyo​ or an aquifer?

A: aquifer