Ian Espy, a Ridgeland eighth-grader, is the winner of the 27th annual Mississippi Geographic Bee held March 27 at Hinds Community College’s Muse Center in Pearl.
Espy, who attends St. Andrews Episcopal School, will compete in the national Geographic Bee May 11-13, 2015 in Washington D.C. The winner will be crowned National Geographic Bee champion. He emerged the victor from among 55 students aged 10-14 from throughout the state.
His prize included an all-expense paid trip to the nation’s capital for him and his parents to represent the state in the national competition and compete for a $50,000 scholarship. He also received $100.
The second place finisher was Edmund Doerksen, a sixth-grader from Oxford Intermediate. He received a check for $75.
The third place finisher was Edwin Griffis of Ridgeland, an eighth-grader from Jackson Preparatory School. He received a check for $50.
Each of the three winners received the “National Geographic Collegiate Atlas of the World”. Espy, as the top finisher, received a backpack and a DVD set of National Geographic issues.
The state bees are the second level of the annual national competition. The first level began in November. State-level contests draw more than 12,000 schools in which millions of students participate.
“They study on their own,” Ginger Manchester, coordinator of the state Geographic Bee, said. “There are no books given out that say, ‘Learn these things’.”
The national competition will be National Geographic Society headquarters and moderated by Soledad O’Brien.
“Geography is a very important subject in school as students prepare to go out into the workforce,” said Chelsea Zillmer, associate director for the National Geographic Bee. “They need to have a global perspective to understand different cultures and different economic situations.”
This year’s bee is again sponsored by Google Inc. and Plum Creek, a private land company that owns about 7 million acres of timberland in the U.S. Hinds Community College’s Rankin Campus had hosted past state bees.
The state Geographic Bee coordinator is Ginger Manchester, 601.672.5283.
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.