Abe Baker-Butler
Abe Baker-Butler
Blind Brook Middle School seventh-grader Abe Baker-Butler qualified to compete at the New York Geography Bee on the state level. After having won the Middle School Geography Bee in January, Abe took a qualifying written exam and was one of the top 100 scorers in the state who competed at the state championship in Albany on Mar. 27.

This was Abe's third year advancing to the state bee, which is open to New York students in grades 4-8.

The morning of Mar. 27 began with more than 100 students. After eight preliminary rounds, Baker-Butler was one of 20 students who had a perfect score-eight out of eight-and made it to a tiebreaker round. He emerged as one of 10 finalists at the conclusion of the tiebreaker round and then advanced to the final round where he finished among the top six students.

Young geography whizzes across the United States and U.S. territories participated in state Bees, competing for a spot in the 27th annual National Geographic Bee championship in Washington, D.C., on May 11-13. Organized by the National Geographic Society, the 2015 National Geographic Bee is sponsored by Google. The state Bees are also sponsored by Plum Creek Foundation.

The first level began last November when millions of students participated in contests at thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories.

The National Geographic Society provided an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for state champions to participate in the National Geographic Bee championship. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship; lifetime membership in the Society, which includes a lifetime subscription to National Geographic magazine; and a trip to the Galápagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.

National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary Knell said, "National Geographic believes in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. Through experiences like the National Geographic Bee, we are teaching students about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and to make it a better place."

The national championship preliminary rounds will take place on Monday, May 11. The national championship final rounds featuring the top 10 finalists and moderated by award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien will be held on Wednesday, May 13, at National Geographic's Washington, D.C., headquarters. National Geographic Channel will air the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 15. It will be aired later on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.

Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the exciting GeoBee Challenge, an online geography quiz at www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee, which poses 10 new questions a day.