Bentley Reps the East Bay at National Geographic Bee

Rebekah Moan
Asher P. '24, Bentley's 2019 National Geographic Bee Champion, has qualified to represent Bentley and participate in the California State Geographic Bee in Fresno, on Friday, March 29. More than 500 California schools participated in this year's Bee; each school's winner subsequently took an online qualifying exam to compete for the opportunity to be one of the 100 students qualifying for the state Bee. Asher has advanced to the state level competition as Bentley's representative for the second year in a row. He is also the only student from Berkeley or Oakland to qualify. He will compete against the 99 other school champions for the right to represent California in the National Championship to be held at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. May 19-22.


“Geography has been my passion since preschool, so I was so excited when last year I became the first-ever student from Oakland to qualify for the National Geographic Bee state competition,” Asher said. “My dream is to represent Oakland at the national competition in Washington, D.C. and one day visit the Galápagos Islands.”
 
Bentley recently introduced the National Geographic Bee to our Middle Schoolers when Asher brought up the program to school administrators last year. Since then, more than 100 middle school students have been introduced to the competition in the form of an elective class where they are actively learning about the world around them.
 
“Geography matters now more than ever because students need to know human geography in our globalized society and understand the interconnected relationships that exist between cultures, economies, geopolitics, and even climate,” added Sarah Layton, Seventh-Grade English teacher and Geography elective coordinator at the Bentley. “There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing students light up when learning about the world around them.”
 
This year, National Geographic increased the prize money for all 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 to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19-22, 2019. Students that come in second and third place will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.
 
Each State Champion will advance to the National Championship and compete for cash awards and college scholarships. In 2019, 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; second place will receive at $10,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; third place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; and seven runners-up will receive $1,000 in cash each. Visit www.natgeobee.org for more information on the National Geographic GeoBee.
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