Kevin Donahue, St. Benedict School principal, right, congratulates Jake Visone on winning first place in the school’s GeoBee competition. Courtesy photo
Kevin Donahue, St. Benedict School principal, right, congratulates Jake Visone on winning first place in the school’s GeoBee competition. Courtesy photo
Some 216 students from St. Benedict School, Holmdel, participated in the school competition of the National Geographic Bee Jan. 31.

Under the leadership of Pat Tuttle, fifth grade math and social studies teacher, the GeoBee has been held in St. Benedict School for five years. Seventh-graders Jake Visone, won first place, Ashley Cook, earned second place, and Abigail Cangelosi, came in third place.

The school competition is the first round in the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Questions cover geography, as well as ancient and world civilizations, cultures and physical features.

The National Geographic Society developed the GeoBee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. In more than 30 years, more than 120 million students have learned about the world through participation in the GeoBee. School champions, including Visone, will take an online qualifying test; up to 100 of the top test scorers in each state then become eligible to compete in their State GeoBee. The winners of the State GeoBee receive an all-expenses-paid trip to participate in the GeoBee national championship in the spring of 2020. Students will compete for cash prizes, scholarships and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II. In addition to the GeoBee, National Geographic also offers classroom resources, student experiences and professional development opportunities for educators.