Hastings elementary students compete in geography bees

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Hastings' three public elementary schools recently held their National Geographic Bee competitions.

At Pinecrest Elementary School, the champion was Jed Carlson.

The McAuliffe Elementary School champion was Ethan Ries.

Sydney Nutter was the champion at Kennedy Elementary School.

According to the National Geographic website, the bee "is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world."

Thousands of schools in the United States and the five U.S. territories participate in the 2017 National Geographic Bee. The school champions will take a qualifying test and up to 100 of the top scorers will be eligible to compete in the state Bee on March 31 at Mankato State University. The state winners are then provided with an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Bee's National Championship round May 15-17. The prize for the national champion is a $50,000 college scholarship.

Everyone can test their geographic knowledge by downloading the "National Geographic GeoBee Challenge" app, which has more than 1,000 questions from past bees.