Douglas R. Simons of was among 100 finalists to compete in the NJ National Geographic Bee held at Rowan University Friday. The day began with 100 semi-finalists culled from school geography bees from all over the state, who qualified for the state bee after they earned high scores on a written exam. Simons, a student at competed against 90 boys and 10 girls.
Ultimately the win went to Siddharth Kurella, an eigth grader at Crossroads North Middle School in Monmouth Junction.
Siddharth willl now go on to the National Competition in Washington DC. May 22-24, where he has a chance to win the grand prize of a $25,000 scholarship and trip to the Galapagos Islands.
In second place was Kevin Pang, Stewartsville Middle School, Stewartsville, and third place Tarun Maddali, Newark Academy, Livingston. Both are 8th graders.
Monmouth County was well-represented. Local students were Brian Slobotsky of Cliffwood, representing Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School, Chris De Carolis of Cedar Drive Middle School in Colts Neck, Anthony T. Moore of Memorial Middle School in Freehold, Andy J. Gao of Barkalow Middle School in Freehold, Daniel Draganoff of Beers Street School in Hazlet, Aishwarya Kalyanaraman of William R. Satz School in Holmdel, Dina M. Brown of Howell Middle School South in Howell, Joseph Mignella of Manalapan-Englishtown Middle School in Manalapan, Tarung S. Bhimnathwala of Marlboro Middle School lin Marlboro and Owen Zhang of Marlboro Middle School in Morganville.
After the first eight rounds and a tie-breaker competition, the ten finalists included Brian Slobotsky of Cliffwood, representing Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School and Tarung S. Bhimnathwala of Marlboro, representing Marlboro Middle School.
The 2012 National Geographic Bee is open to students in grades 4-8 who register in October. It is sponsored by Google Inc and Plum Creek.