Mark your calendar and spin a globe.
National acclaim and a $25,000 college scholarship are for grabs as 55 of the nation’s brightest geography students, including Friday Harbor’s Zachary Reshov-sky, compete for top honors at the National Geograph-ic Bee today in Washing-ton, D.C.
Competition started Tuesday.
The final round features a showdown between the last 10 standing and will be televised on the National Geographic Channel on Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. It will be moderated by quizmaster Alex Trebek of “Jeopardy!” fame. (The program will be rebroadcast on public television stations; check local listings or nationalgeographic.com for broadcast times).
Zach, an eighth-grader at Griffin Bay Academy, earned the opportunity to tangle with the nation’s best junior geographers by winning the Washington state Geo Bee in early April. He trumped 100 fellow state finalists to win the title in his third consecutive appearance at the statewide competition.
The 14-year-old was state runner-up last year, finishing second only to Caitlin Snaring of Redmond, who went on to win the national title and become the second girl to win the event since its inception.
Despite his recent success, Zach has been “eating up” as much information as possible in preparation for the national competition and is taking nothing for granted.
“I never feel well prepared even if I’m extremely well-prepared or if I’m not prepared at all,” Zach said the day before departing for D.C. He is accompanied by family, friends and Barbara Bevens of Griffin Bay Academy.
“When (the Geo Bee) first started out, say in 1991 and ’92 the questions were more like the ones you get in the finals at the school level,” he said. “The last two years they’ve gotten quite difficult.”
Now in its 20th year, the annual event, sponsored by the National Geographic Society, pits Geo Bee champions from all 50 state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories against one another in a grueling two-day test of geographic, scientific and cultural knowledge.
Of the 55 competitors, five have participated at the national contest before and one, Benjamin Geyer of D.C., will be making his fourth consecutive appearance.
In addition to the grand prize, a $25,000 college scholarship, the second-place finisher will earn a $15,000 scholarship and third-place collects $10,000 in scholarship money. Each of the 10 finalists receives $500.
For more information about the Geo Bee or sample questions, visit nationalgeographic.com