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2002 National Geographic Bee

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10-year-old From Michigan Wins the Bee

Go ahead, try to best the nation’s top geography students at the famed National Geographic Bee. Ten finalists squared off against each other in the contest, vying for the top prize of a U.S. $25,000 college scholarship. Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy!, moderated.

Brainy and with nerves of steel, the 10- to 14-year-old contestants knocked down round after round of tough questions, demonstrating their astonishing knowledge about the world.

Calvin McCarter, a homeschooled student from near Grand Rapids, Michigan, won the 2002 National Geographic Bee. At 10 years old, McCarter was the youngest competitor, beating students who were making their second and third appearances in the finals.

Second place went to Matthew Russell of Bradford, Pennsylvania, while third was taken by Erik Miller of Kent, Washington.

The final question was “Lop Nur, a marshy depression at the eastern end of the Tarim Basin, is a nuclear test site for which country?” McCarter correctly answered China.

It’s humbling to pit your wits against these junior geographic geniuses. Start studying your atlases right now!

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