MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morristown-Beard School sixth grader Neal Ramasamy ’23 of Short Hills battled hard to win the MBS championship of the 2017 National Geographic Bee on Wednesday, January 25th.

Last year’s MBS champion, Alex Keri ’21 was the runner-up, and Lucas Swanson ’21 finished third in a very challenging contest that tested students’ knowledge and thinking skills involving physical geography, map skills, demographics and natural resources of the United States and the world at large.

For the winning question, Neal correctly identified Hawaii as the state where President Obama recently expanded the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to make it the largest protected place on the planet.  Other questions focused on key cities, river systems and natural resources.

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Congratulations to all 10 MBS Middle School students who qualified to compete in the final round of the School championship: Zach Alin-Hvidsten ’21, Roman Berger ’23, Kaitlin Blount ’23, Ava Bourneuf ’23, Ethan Chestnut Stein ’22, Nate Hendrick ’23, Alex Keri ’21, Chip Powar ’23, Neal Ramasamy ’23, and Lucas Swanson ’21. Special thanks to Middle School geography teacher Lisa Swanson for organizing the MBS competition.

Neal will now be administered a 45-minute written test to be submitted for possible advancement to the New Jersey state level of competition later this winter.  State champions from all 50 states go on to compete at the final, national round of The National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.

The National Geographic Bee is a national competition geared at raising geographic awareness in middle-school aged children. The competition has grown into a worldwide competition each summer, with top, school-aged geographers from each country competing as teams.