Students compete in geo bee

Two Hancock County Schools pupils have won their school-level competitions in the National Geographic Bee and will compete in the West Virginia state bee, sponsored by Google and Plum Creek, April 5 at Concord University.

Ty Biela, an Oak Glen Middle School seventh-grader, and Jimmie DiGiacinto, a Weir Middle School sixth-grader, successfully answered oral questions on geography in order to win the first round of competition, then took written tests and qualified among the top 100 in the state.

One winner from each state and territory will advance to the national competition May 20-22 in Washington, D.C., and the final round of the 2013 bee will be moderated by game show host Alex Trebek and will air on the National Geography Channel May 23. It also will air on public broadcast stations at a date to be announced.

The top five Oak Glen pupils were Biela, first; eighth-grader Jeff Coble, second; sixth-grader Jake McCoy, third; eighth-grader Molly Swartzmiller, fourth; and seventh-grader Nathan Ferrell, fifth. The top five Weir pupils were DiGiacinto, first; seventh-grader Meghan Hawthorne, second; seventh-grader Wil Visnic, third; eighth-grader Cheyenne Byrd, fourth; and seventh-grader Hannah Minger, fifth.

Everyone can test their geography knowledge with GeoBee Challenge, an online geography quiz at, which poses 10 new questions a day, or by downloading the GeoBee Challenge app, with more than 1,000 questions culled from past bees, from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; from the Android Market; or for Nook Color.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 375 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise.

National Geographic has funded more than 9,600 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy.

For information, visit