O’Rourke wins Joliet School Geographic Bee

Ethan O’Rourke, an fifth grader at Joliet Elementary School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on Jan. 7, and moved one step closer for a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship. The school-level Bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 26th annual National Geographic Bee. This year ’s Bee is sponsored by Google. The kick-off for this year’s Bee was the week of Nov. 11, with thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participating. The school winners, including Ethan, will now take a written test; up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee on April 4, 2014. The classroom winners which competed in the Joliet School Bee were Cooper Frank and Nick Frank from fourth grade; Darian Clark and Ethan O’Rourke from fifth grade; Caleb Bailey and Raiden Ovitt from sixth grade; Noah Salo and Walker Antilla from seventh grade; and Danny Hilderbrand and Vanessa Nowak from eighth grade. It took four rounds of challenging questions to determine the top two students to compete in the championship round. Nick Frank took the third place finish while Danny Hilderbrand finished second. The Nat ional Geo - graphic Society will provide an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for state champions and teacher-escorts to participate in the Bee national championship rounds on May 19-21, 2014. The first-place national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expedi t i ons and National Geographic. Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will moderate the nat ional finals on May 21. The program will air on television. Check local listings for dates and times. Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the exciting GeoBee Challenge, an online geography quiz at www.nationalgeographic. com/geobee, which poses ten new questions a day, or by downloading the “Nat i onal Ge o g raphi c GeoBee Challenge” app, with more than 1,000 questions culled from past bees, from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; from the Andriod Market; or for Nook Color. The Nat ional Geo - graphic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Its mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Founded in 1888, the Society is member supported and offers communities for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members, and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; televi s i on do cumentar i e s ; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation, and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic. com.