AUBURN — Landon Pope, son of Christopher and Mary Pope and a seventh-grader at Auburn Middle School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on Jan. 6 and a chance at the $25,000 college scholarship.

The school bee, at which students answered oral and written questions on geography, was the first round in the 23rd annual national bee. Spencer Dunn, also a seventh-grade student, was the second-place finisher in the school competition. Eighth-grader Ali Laverdiere finished third.

Thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participate. The school winners take a written test; up to 100 of the top scorers in each state will be eligible to compete in their state bee on April 1.

The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the state champions and teacher-escorts to participate in the national championship on May 24 and 25. The first-place national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship. “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek will moderate the national finals.

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