This year’s Spring Grove School school-level National Geographic Bee participants were, in front, Camron Sylling, Devon Nerstad (2nd place), Ben Gray (1st place), Noah Myrah (3rd place) and Kendra Paus; back row, Grace Edgington, Stine Myrah, Chase Grinde, Bailey Witt and Vendela Parker.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
This year’s Spring Grove School school-level National Geographic Bee participants were, in front, Camron Sylling, Devon Nerstad (2nd place), Ben Gray (1st place), Noah Myrah (3rd place) and Kendra Paus; back row, Grace Edgington, Stine Myrah, Chase Grinde, Bailey Witt and Vendela Parker.

In what city is the National Civil Rights Museum? What two state borders are formed by the Pearl River? Horseracing is an important activity around Lexington, in what state?

These are just samples of some of the geography questions about the United States that students answered during the Spring Grove School school-level National Geographic Bee that was held on Dec. 11.

As the bee progressed, the questions also took on an international flare and including geographical questions that dealt with the entire world.

In order to participate in the school-level bee, the fifth- through eighth-grade students first had to "win" a position during their classroom bees.

After that a preliminary test was held, the 10 best students went on to participate in the school-level bee.

Thousands of schools across the United States and in five U.S. territories, as well as in Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world, are participating in school-level bees and will be sending a winner on to the next level.

Students participating in Spring Grove School's geography bee included: Grace Edgington, Ben Gray, Chase Grinde, Noah Myrah, Stine Myrah, Devon Nerstad, Vendela Parker, Kendra Paus, Camron Sylling and Bailey Witt.

It was a tense time in the gymnasium as it took three questions in the tie-breaking championship round to determine the winner.

The winner was determined when one student answered the question correctly and the other answered it incorrectly.

The crowd held its breath as Gray and Nerstad both answered the first and second questions incorrectly. On the third question, Gray answered correctly and Nerstad answered incorrectly making Gray the school champion.

The winning question was "Three Gorges Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in the world, is located on what river that flows into the East China Sea?" The answer: Yangtze River.

Gray will now take a written test to determine if he will advance on to the next level, which is the state bee. Up to 100 of the top scorers on the written test will be eligible to compete on Friday, April 5, 2013, at the state bee.

The national championship rounds will be May 20-22, 2013, in Washington, D.C. "Jeopardy!" host, Alex Trebek, will moderate the national finals. That program will air on television; interested viewers can check local listings for dates and times.

Anyone wanting to test their geography knowledge can take the online quiz at www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee. Ten new questions are posed each day. The National Geographic's "GeoBee Challenge" app with more than 1,000 questions is also available.

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 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.