MH 6th grader qualifies to compete in state geography bee

Photo: Hunter Belvedresi

The National Geographic Society has named Hunter Belvedresi, a sixth grader at Pinkston Middle School in Mountain Home, as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Competition. The contest will be held at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway on March 27. The sixth grader took first place in the Pinkston Middle School geography bee in January.

This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, now in its 32nd year. To determine each school champion, GeoBee competitions were held throughout the state with students in the fourth through eighth grades.

This year, an estimated 2.4 million students competed in the geobee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions. School champions also took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. Up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories were invited to compete in the state geobees.

State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the national championship. There they will compete for additional cash, awards and college scholarships. The second- and third-place state geobee winners will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.

The 2020 national championship will take place May 18-21 at National Geographic headquarters. The national champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. The second-place finisher will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; the student finishing in third place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; and seven runners-up will each receive $1,000 in cash. Visit for more information on the National Geographic GeoBee.

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