OLD TOWN, Maine — Leonard Middle School sixth-grader Conor Millard is in Washington, D.C., today to compete in the 2009 National Geographic Bee. The event takes place May 19 and 20 and includes 55 students from 9 to 15 years old. Millard, who is accompanied by his teacher Jon Doty, represents the state of Maine in this year’s contest.
Students at the event represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Pacific Territories and the Department of Defense Dependents Schools. Just two of the 55 finalists are girls: Bethany Lee of Alaska and Kirsi Anselmi-Stith of Wyoming.
Preliminary rounds of the geography bee will take place today. The top 10 finalists each will win $500 and advance to the final round on Wednesday. The final round, moderated by “Jeopardy” quiz show host Alex Trebek, will air May 20 on the National Geographic Channel. The final round also will be broadcast later on public television stations.
Top prize is a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. In addition, the national winner will travel with a parent or guardian and Trebek to the Galpagos Islands.
Second and third-place winners will be awarded college scholarships of $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.