For the past 29 years, the National Geographic Society has
encouraged students to expand their knowledge of the world with a little
friendly competition. Top-scoring students in each of the 50 states and U.S.
territories will compete in the National Geographic Bee Championship May 14-17,
but first geography bee hopefuls must make it through the state bee.
It is an opportunity for students to explore the beauty and variety of God’s creation of natural resources, both near to home and far away
This year, eighth-grader Thomas Nguyen of St. Ambrose School in
Annadale, will go to the state competition after winning the school’s geography
bee and getting top marks in the National Geographic Bee’s online qualifying
test. St. Ambrose has participated in the National Geographic Bee for the past
seven years but this is the first time a student will compete against 100 other
students at the state level at Longwood University in Farmville March 31.
An all-around great student and athlete, according to his
teachers, Nguyen plans to prepare for the bee by poring over the National
Geographic Society’s website during the days leading up to the competition.
“It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of young people having a
wide range of interests, and Thomas is a perfect example of that,” said Angela
Rowley, principal. “To see our students willing to put themselves out there to
compete and expand their knowledge is so gratifying. I am proud of all the
students who participated.”
Nguyen will join nine other students representing Arlington
diocesan Catholic schools in the National Georgraphic State Bee. They include
seventh-grader Hannah Spiegeler from Holy Cross Academy in Fredericksburg,
eighth-grader Samuel Donovan from Holy Spirit School in Annandale, fifth-grader Nicholas Doan from St. Bernadette School in Springfield, eighth-grader Christopher Domingos-Kioza from St. Francis of Assisi School in
Triangle, eighth-grader Paul Weaver from St. James School in Falls Church,
sixth-grader James Waddick from St. John Academy in McLean, eighth-grader
Robert Kyte from St. Leo the Great School in Fairfax, eighth-grader Patrick Bazaco from Linton Hall School in Bristow and eighth-grader Conrad
Byrne from St. Mary School in Alexandria.
“I always look forward to seeing the students enjoy the National
Geography Bee,” said social studies teacher Kimberly Brox. “It is an
opportunity for students to explore the beauty and variety of God’s creation of
natural resources, both near to home and far away … and to be able to
communicate that knowledge in a well-rounded and educated way.”
According to a National Geographic Bee press release, the student
who wins the state competition will receive $100, the National Geographic
Concise Atlas of the World, Fourth Edition, and a trip to Washington to
represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship.
The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship,
a lifetime membership in the society and an all-expense paid Lindblad
expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour