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Reese Stoffo has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is a semifinalist in the 2016 N.C. National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held in Charlotte on April 1.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, now in its 28th year. Throughout the state, school bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the state bees.

Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic book “The National Parks: An Illustrated History” and a medal, and will travel to Washington, D.C., to represent his or her state in the National Geographic Bee Championship at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 22-25.

The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. The national champion will also travel (along with a parent or guardian), all expenses paid, on a Lindblad expedition to Southeast Alaska aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, a trip that includes Glacier Bay National Park.

The 2016 National Geographic Bee Championship final round, moderated by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca, will air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD at 8 p.m. May 27 and later on public television stations.

How would you fare as a bee contestant? At the school bees this year, students had to answer such questions as:

  1. To fish in Lake Winnipesaukee and ski near Franconia Notch, you would travel to which state - New Hampshire or South Dakota?
  2. Visitors to Biscayne National Park in Florida can go fishing and lobstering along the shore of which kind of habitat - mangrove or desert?
  3. Sea kayakers can explore hundreds of islands off the Dalmatian coast of which European country south of Slovenia?
  4. For centuries, the Chinese emperors lived in seclusion in the Forbidden City, which is located within what present-day city?

Answers: 1. New Hampshire. 2. Mangrove. 3. Croatia. 4. Beijing.

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