Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Hill County students are competing for a chance to travel to Helena, then to Washington, D.C., to show off their knowledge of geography, and possibly win prizes in the process.
Sunnyside Intermediate School in Havre held its final round Tuesday in the National Geographic Society's National Geographic Bee.
Dolan Tuss, a fifth-grader at Sunnyside, won by correctly identifying the Panama Canal as providing the shortest route from Asia to the Atlantic Ocean.
Tuss had to advance through classroom competition to qualify for the school final. In the final, 10 students had to answer geography questions orally or in writing.
Students were eliminated if they gave two incorrect answers.
Once the field was narrowed to two students - Tuss and Donald Lohman - the championship round started, with each contestant given a clean slate to start answering new questions.
Tuss beat Lohman, who took second. Andrew Wilson took third.
Tuss' victory qualifies him to take a written test. The top scorers of that test across Montana will advance to a state competition in Helena on April 1, with cash awards and prizes given there.
The winners of the state competitions advance to the national competition in Washington May 24-25, moderated by "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek. The top prize at the national competition is a $25,000 scholarship and $500 in cash.
St. Jude Thaddeus School is holding its final round at 1 p.m. on Jan. 14, and Blue Sky School in Rudyard is holding its final Tuesday at 10:55 a.m.
KG Elementary and Havre Middle School are not participating in the competition, which is open for students from fourth through eighth grade.