Ten Students Head To Geographic Bee Finals

National Geographic News
May 21, 2002
Ten students won through to the final round of the 2002 National
Geographic Bee, in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. The semifinal round was
contested by 55 state bee champions, representing U.S. states and
territories. They in turn won state and school competitions earlier
this year.

 The finalists for the championship round at National Geographic's headquarters in Washington tomorrow are:

Isaiah Hess, a 14-year-old homeschooled 8th grader from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Aaron Kiersh, a 12-year-old 6th grader at Bedford Middle School in Westport, Connecticut.

Ryan Felix, a 14-year-old 8th grader at Naples American High School, Naples, Italy. He represents U.S. Department of Defense schools.

Benjamin Detrixhe, an 11-year-old 5th grader at Clyde Elementary School, Clyde, Kansas.

Calvin McCarter, a 10-year-old homeschooled 5th grader from Jenison, Michigan.

Nathaniel Mattison, a 13-year-old 8th grader at H.C. Crittenden Middle School in Armonk, New York.

Alex Smith, a 13-year-old 8th grader at Turrentine Middle School in Burlington, North Carolina.

John Rice, a 14-year-old homeschooled 8th grader from Maddock, North Dakota.

Matthew Russell, a 14-year-old 8th grader at Fretz Middle School in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

Erik Miller, a 14-year-old homeschooled 8th grader from Kent, Washington.

Contestants in tomorrow's championship round will be vying for the first prize of a $25,000 college scholarship and a lifetime subscription to National Geographic magazine. Second and third prizes are college scholarships of $15,000 and $10,000.

The 55 semifinalists had triumphed over a field of nearly five million students to earn a place in the national championships. They represented the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Pacific Territories, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools.

Alex Trebek, host of the television quiz show Jeopardy! will moderate the Bee finals for the 14th year. The championship round will air nationally later tomorrow on the National Geographic Channel. Produced by Maryland Public Television, the finals also will be broadcast at later dates on public television stations. Check or local listings for viewing times. The broadcast is being underwritten by MasterCard International.

This year's finalists include several repeat state winners, including one who is competing for the third time. John Rice of North Dakota took part in the 2000 and 2001 national contests. Second-time winners include Aaron Kiersh, Connecticut (Florida winner in 2001); Benjamin Detrixhe, Kansas (2001); Nathaniel Mattison, New York (2000); Matthew Russell, Pennsylvania (2000); and Ryan Felix, Department of Defense Schools (2001).

The 2001 national winner was eighth-grader Kyle Haddad-Fonda of The Evergreen School in Seattle. He correctly answered the question: "Below the equilibrium line of glaciers there is a region of melting, evaporation, and sublimation. Name this zone." Answer: zone of ablation.

© 1996-2008 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.