Thomas Powars, an eighth grade student at Randolph-Macon Academy, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 12, 2012 and a chance at a $25,000 college scholarship. Thomas is the son of David and Meridee Powars of Stephens City, Va. The school-level Bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 24th annual National Geographic Bee. This year’s Bee is sponsored by Google (visit www.google.com/educators/geo).
The kickoff for this year’s Bee was the week of November 14, with thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participating. The school winners, including Powars, will now take a written test; up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee March 30, 2012. State champions will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national championship rounds May 22-24, 2012.
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 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television 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 promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), founded in 1892, is a college-preparatory, coeducational day and boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12. Students in grades 9-12 participate in R-MA’s 91st Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and have the option to participate in a unique flight program. R-MA is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is located in Front Royal, VA.