Aaron Pacos wins Fredonia Geography Bee

Aaron Pacos, a 7th-grade student at Fredonia Middle School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee. He now has a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship. The school level Bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 26th Annual National Geographic Bee. This year’s Bee is sponsored by Google.

Thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participated in this year’s Bee. The school winners, including Aaron will next take a written test. Up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state become eligible to compete in their state Bee on April 4.

The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. for state champions and teacher-escorts to participate in the Bee national championship rounds on May 19-21. The first-place national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

Award winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will moderate the national finals on May 21. The program will air on television. Check local listings for dates and times.

Everyone can test his/her geography knowledge with the exciting GeoBee Challenge, an online geography quiz at “http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee”>www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee. The site poses 10 new questions a day. The “National Geographic GeoBee Challenge” app with more than 1,000 questions culled from past Bees can be downloaded from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; from Android Market; or for Nook Color.

The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge.” Its mission is to inspire people to care about the planet.It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, “National Geographic” and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries, music; radio; films; books’ DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.