Four Bellingham Public Schools students were selected as National Geographic State Bee semifinalists and competed in the 2017 Washington Geographic State Bee.

The semifinalists were Christian Schwarz, a Happy Valley Elementary fifth grader; Lucy Bankowski, a Lowell Elementary fifth grader; Diane Park, a Fairhaven seventh grader and Nigel Naylor, a Whatcom eighth grader. The state Geography Bee was held Friday, March 31 at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.

Only one student from each state advances to the national competition in Washington, D.C. The Geography Bee is sponsored by the National Geographic Society to encourage the study of geography. It is open to all students in grades 4 to 8 under the age of 15. The first place prize in the national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship.

Pictured above: Diane Park and Christian Schwarz

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