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Middle School Student Returning to State Geography Contest

Woodland Middle School student Kenith Taukolo is returning March 29 as a semifinalist in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee Illinois State Competition.

The contest will be held at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois. Kenith, an eighth grade student at Woodland Middle School, was the school winner and he is participating for the third time in the state event.

This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 31st year. School GeoBees were held in 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. 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 GeoBees.

This year, National Geographic increased the prize money for all State GeoBees. State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash, and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19-22, 2019. Students that come in second and third place will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.

Each State Champion will advance to the National Championship and compete for cash awards and college scholarships. In 2019, the 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; second place will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; third place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; and seven runners-up will receive $1,000 in cash each. For more information on the GeoBee, visit www.natgeobee.org.

How would you fare as a National Geographic GeoBee contestant? At the school GeoBees this year, students had to answer questions like these:

Which animal famous for its tusk spends most of the winter months under the sea ice in Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland—emperor penguin or narwhal?
narwhal

It takes about 90 days for a drop of water to travel the length of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River starts in Minnesota and flows 2,340 miles south to its outlet in which state—Louisiana or South Carolina?
Louisiana

The Magdalena River, the principal river of Colombia, flows through the city of Barranquilla near the Caribbean Sea on which continent?
South America