Nathan Oswald Wins the Monticello Middle School National Geographic Bee!

Nathan Oswald Wins the Monticello Middle School National Geographic Bee and Moves One Step Closer to $50,000 College Scholarship

—Laura Schmitt-8th grade history teacher

8th grader Nathan Oswald won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 16, 2018 and a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship. Nathan will take a test to be submitted for scoring. Up to 100 of the top scorers in each state will be asked to compete in their state bee, which takes place on April 6, 2018.  The winner of the state bee will earn a trip to Washington, D.C. for the national championship rounds.

The top ten school finalists to compete included the following students 5th graders Carson Rickels and River Smith, 6th graders Sienna Hendricks and Kyle Cox, 7th Graders Austin Kurt, Juan Moncada, and Erik Wallerich, and 8th graders Erlin Bell, Elise Kehoe, and Nathan Oswald. Erlin Bell earned 2nd place.

A big thank you goes out to local groups, businesses, and individuals who donated various items so that the finalists would have a small prize. Thank you to Casey’s, The Century House, Citizens State Bank, Dutrac, The Edge, Fidelity Bank, Happy Joes Pizza, Kardes, La Hacienda, Legacy Lanes, Wolken Dental, Above and Beyond, and Labarge Painting.  I would also like to thank Deb Bowman for acting as the master of ceremonies for the event.

All 5th through 8th grade students at the middle school participated in the preliminary rounds of the bee in their social studies classes to attempt to be finalists.

The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., for state winners to participate in the Bee national championship rounds May 20-23, 2018. The first- place national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.

National Geographic will air the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship in May 2018. It will air later on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee. The National Geographic Society developed the National Geographic Bee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Over three decades, 1,583 state champions have traveled to D.C. to participate in the finals and more than $1.5 million in college scholarship money has been awarded to winners of the competition by the National Geographic Society.

Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the exciting Geo Bee Quiz, an online geography quiz at, which poses 10 new questions a day and with the National Geographic Geo Quiz Alexa skill, which releases six new questions
a day. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Bee, National Geographic has also published an updated National Geographic Bee book: “How to Ace the National Geographic Bee: Official Study Guide, 5th Edition,” by Stephen Cunha.

The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. Through our grants and programs, we aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.