LIVINGSTON, NJ — Twenty students from Mt. Pleasant Middle School in Livingston recently participated in the school's National Geographic GeoBee competition, where Ethan Liu emerged victorious, Roger Zhang earned second place and Reesha Sawant finished third.

The school competition is the first round in the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Questions cover not only geography, but also ancient and world civilizations, cultures and physical features.

Livingston Public Schools sixth graders are smart enough to know the answers to such questions as these:

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  • "Which state has the longer coastline - Maine or Rhode Island? (Maine) 
  • "Mount Aso, which includes a large caldera, is located on the island of Kyushu in what country?" (Japan)
  • Estancias is the term for large cattle ranches in the second largest country by area in South America. Name this country. (Argentina)

The National Geographic Society developed the GeoBee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Over more than three decades, more than 12 million students have learned about the world through participation in the GeoBee.

School champions, including Liu, will take an online qualifying test; up to 100 of the top test scorers in each state then become eligible to compete in their State GeoBee.

The winners of the State GeoBees receive an all expenses paid trip to participate in the GeoBee national championship in spring 2020. Students will be competing for cash prizes, scholarships and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II.