Conor Smith named geography bee semifinalist
Conor Smith, an eighth-grader at Edgartown School, recently heard from the National Geographic Society that he is eligible to compete as a semifinalist in the 2008 Massachusetts Geographic Bee. The competition, sponsored by Plum Creek, takes place on April 4 at Clark University in Worcester.
Geography bees were held in schools statewide to determine each school's bee winner from students in grades 4-8. Edgartown School held its 20th annual geography bee on Jan. 15.
As the school champion, Conor then took a written test to see if he would qualify for the state competition. Fifth-grade teacher Gary Smith, who has run the geography bee competition for three years, administered the test and sent it in.
Mr. Smith said that as far as he knows, Edgartown School has never had a winner go on to the state competition. He said the school will give Conor a big send-off before he heads to the bee.
Conor is one of 100 students with the top scores in Massachusetts to be invited by the National Geographic Society to compete at the state level. The same process takes place in each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Dependents Schools, and the U.S. territories.
State winners receive $200, a globe, and a trip to Washington, D.C., where they will represent their states in the national finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters on May 20-21. The national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship.
Conor is the son of Alison and Tom Smith of Edgartown. Clark University, where the state geography bee takes place, happens to be Mr. Smith's alma mater.