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Bernt wins HMS Geography Bee

Ten students participated in the Hastings Middle School Geography Bee. Pictured are, from front left, Robert Benjamin, Adam Duer, Ethan Bernt and Zach Hudella. From back left are Devin Plank, Wyatt Burg, Owen Bakker, Ben Clemens, Jackson Pettit and Gabi Kurtz. Photo by Mark Cernohous

Ethan Bernt, an eighth-grader at Hastings Middle School, won the school's National Geographic Bee on Jan. 11. The school bee was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world.

Thousands of schools in the United States and in the five U.S. territories are participating in the 2018 National Geographic Bee. The school champions, including Bernt, will take a qualifying test. Up to 100 of the top scorers on the test will be eligible to compete in the state Bee on April 6, 2018. State winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Bee national championship rounds May 20-23, 2018. The first-place national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine and an all-expenses paid Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour II.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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