Alabama's top 100 geography students will test their skills when they compete in the State Geographic Bee at Samford University Friday, April 5. The final round of competition to determine the state winner will begin at 3 p.m. in Brock Forum, located in Dwight Beeson Hall.
The competitors, all in grades four through eight, represent schools in 24 Alabama counties. Each qualified for the state level after winning contests in their schools and placing among the top 100 scorers in Alabama on a test administered by the National Geographic Society.
The winner of Friday's state competition will receive $100, "The Complete National Geographic" on DVD, and an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals May 20-22. First prize in the 25th annual national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship, an expenses-paid trip to the Galapagos Islands, and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.
Sharon Christman, a teacher in Homewood City Schools, is coordinator of the state bee. Communications consultant and former local broadcaster Rick Journey will emcee the final round. The Samford geography department and department chair Dr. Eric Fournier host the event.
Berry Middle School student Daniel Picard of Hoover will compete for his third state championship. Now an eighth-grader, Picard took home the state title in 2011 and 2012.