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Cody Baird, Champlin, wins Minnesota National Geographic Bee

Friday, April 3, 2009

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Cody J. Baird, eighth-grader from Jackson Middle School, Champlin, Minn., took top honors at the 2009 Minnesota state-level Geographic Bee held at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minn., Friday, April 3.  He won $100, a "National Geographic Collegiate Atlas of the World" and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the finals of the 21st annual National Geographic Bee on May 19-20.  The Bee is organized by the National Geographic Society.

Baird took first place when he gave the correct answer – Florence -- to the question:  "To see Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting, the "Birth of Venus," you would travel to which Italian city located upriver from Pisa?"

Second-place winner was Benjamin J. Allen, eighth grade, Westwood Middle School, Blaine, Minn.  Third-place winner was Stephan C. Gosswiller, Inver Grove Heights Middle School, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Up to 100 fourth- to eighth-graders in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, U.S. territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools took part in the state Bees.

In the national competition, first prize will be a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.  Second- and third-place finishers receive $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships.  Additionally, the national winner will travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, to the Galápagos Islands with "Jeopardy!" quiz show host and National Geographic Bee moderator Alex Trebek and the "Jeopardy!" Clue Crew.  The winner will experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the wildlife and landscape of the Galápagos. 

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Note to Editors: Press resources on the Bee can be found at www.nationalgeographic, com/geographicbee and www.nationalgeographic.com/pressroom.

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