PMS student named National Geographic GeoBee state semifinalist

Nate McKenzie, a 6th grader at Piedmont Middle School, has been named a semifinalist in the National Geographic GeoBee State Competition. The contest will be held at Fresno State on Friday, Mar. 27, 2020. The last time a Piedmont student made it to this level was 2011, when Thomas Horn placed second in the state competition.

His mother, Amy McKenzie, told the Exedra that Nate has always loved geography. “We feel so lucky that he has had so many wonderful teachers at Beach and PMS that have supported his passion. Nate could name all the states on the Wildwood blacktop when he was in preschool. People were always very surprised!”

This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 32nd year. To determine each school champion, GeoBee competitions were held in schools throughout the state with students in the fourth through eighth grades. This year, an estimated 2.4 million students competed in the GeoBee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions. School champions also took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. Up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories were invited to compete in the State GeoBees.

State champions will receive a medal, $1,000 in cash, and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Championship where they will compete for additional cash, awards and college scholarships.The second- and third-place State GeoBee winners will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.

The 2020 National Championship will take place May 18-21, 2020, at National Geographic headquarters. The National Champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Gal├ípagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. The second-place finisher will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; the student finishing in third place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and $1,000 in cash; and seven runners-up will each receive $1,000 in cash. Visit for more information on the National Geographic GeoBee.

Follow the national competition at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 18-21, 2020, at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *