Top Geography Students All Abuzz At This Year’s Geographic Bee

April 04, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. - Do you know what Brazilian city has a metropolitan population of more than 18 million people or what is the official language of Leichtenstein? If you answered Sao Paulo and German, then you could be ready for next year’s National Geographic Bee. These were just two of the tough questions posed to students competing in this year’s National Geographic Bee last week.  

Geographic Bee
Geographic Bee winner Yiping Wang and finalists John Bieniek and Logan Payton received globes as part of their prizes at the National Geographic Bee

Yiping Wang, a student at Beckley-Stratton Middle School, Raleigh County, took top honors this year, after placing second in last year’s competition. He won $100 and an all-expense trip to Washington, D.C. where he will go head to head with other students from across in the country in the national competition, moderated by “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek. The national competition will take place May 24-25, 2005.  

Second place went to Logan Payton, a student at Summersville Junior High School, Nicholas County, who won $75. John Bieneck, a student at Martinsburg South Middle School, Berkeley County, placed third and won $50. All three winners were awarded with globes and other prizes, as well.  

Sponsored by National Geographic, students in grades four through eight from across the country compete first at the school level before advancing to the state level. The first place winners from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Pacific territories, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Schools compete in the national competition. The winner of the national competition will win a $25,000 college scholarship. Second and third places winners will be awarded a $15,000 scholarship and a $10,000 scholarship, respectively. The top ten finalists will each win $500.  

To learn more about the National Geographic Bee, contact Regina Scotchie, West Virginia Department of Education Social Studies coordinator, at (304) 558-7805, or visit

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