FORT MILL — Three middle school students from the Fort Mill School District have a chance to compete for $25,000 is scholarship money, a trip to the Galápagos Islands — and more.
The students — Akhil Gadepalli (grade seven, Springfield Middle), School), Sirvatsav Swaminatha (grade six, Fort Mill Middle), and Shane Yeoman (grade six, Banks Trail Middle) — are all semifinalists in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee South Carolina State Competition.
The contest will be held at Brookland Baptist Church Banquet and Conference Center, West Columbia on Friday.
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. Students who 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 at $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.
Visit natgeobee.org for more information on the National Geographic GeoBee.
Follow the National competition at National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on May 19-22 at natgeoed.org/experiences.