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Welcenbach wins Templeton Geographic Bee

Templeton Middle School eighth-grader Erin Welcenbach won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee. Seventh-grader Sean Rice was the second place runner-up and seventh-grader Andrew Kristensen finished in third place. Students answered oral questions about geography Jan. 12 at the school-level bee, which is the first round in the 17th National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

All Templeton students participated in the preliminary round by taking a 25-question written test. Students who scored the highest on that test advanced Jan. 6 to the semi-final round. As the school finalist, Welcenbach will take a written test. Up to 100 of the top scorers in Wisconsin will be eligible to compete April 1 in the state Geographic Bee.

The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for state champions and teacher-escorts to participate in the May 24 and 25 National Geographic Bee national championship. The first-place national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the Society.

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek will moderate the national finals. The program will air on the National Geographic Channel, and afterward on PBS stations.

The National Geographic Society is the world’s largest nonprofit, scientific and educational organization. The 116-year-old Society reflects the world through magazines, books, maps, television and interactive media. The Society has funded more than 7,500 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy.