Cornelius said his mother, Michele, is his teacher, "but both my parents helped quiz me for the Bee."
Will he grow up to be a geographer? "I think I'd like to do something to do with geography," Cornelius said. "Perhaps I will be a nature photographer or a meteorologist."
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Cornelius is already a keen photographer and likes to take pictures on visits to national parks. He also plays the piano and classical guitar. And although he is only 13, he has already taken the SAT. His score: 1520.
Today's competition was the 17th annual National Geographic Bee, a contest started by the National Geographic Society to encourage the study of geography.
Five million fourth through eighth graders in nearly 15,000 schools across the United States take part in the preliminary round of the Bee. Top school winners qualify to compete at the state level. State winners go to Washington, D.C., for a two-day competition that produces ten finalists and eventually the national champion.
The ten finalists who took part in today's Bee final, as well as last year's ten national finalists, are eligible to apply to take part in the seventh National Geographic World Championship. The competition will be held in Budapest, Hungary, from July 10 to 15. Also hosted by the National Geographic Society, the National Geographic World Championship will pit 21 teams from around the globe against one another for the world title.
The 2005 National Geographic Bee was sponsored by the JPMorgan Chase financial services firm.
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