Students from East Shore Middle School participated in the school-level competition of the National Geographic GeoBee on Jan. 18. Mason Bryant, a seventh grade student, won first place.

The school-level competition is the first round in the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Questions cover not only geography, but also cultures, physical features, history and earth science.

The National Geographic Society developed the GeoBee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Over more than three decades, 120 million students have learned about the world through participation in the GeoBee.

As the champion of the East Shore Middle School GeoBee, Mason advanced to the next level of competition, a qualifying test. Mason’s score on the online exam ranked in the top 100 test scorers in Connecticut, therefore, securing his spot in the State GeoBee. Mason will go on to compete at Central Connecticut State University on March 29.

The winners of the state GeoBees receive an all-expenses-paid trip to National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., next May to participate in the GeoBee national championship, competing for cash prizes, scholarships and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. Learn more at www.natgeobee.org.