FARMINGTON — Haden Buzzell of West Newfield won the 2016 Maine National Geographic Bee held Friday at the University of Maine at Farmington.

The sixth-grade student at Massabesic Middle School competed against 100 middle school students from across the state. He will represent Maine at the National Geographic Bee in Washington in late May.

Along with the honor and trip, Buzzell was given his first college acceptance letter.

UMF President Kathryn A. Foster presented Buzzell with a letter promising entrance to the university, if he completes high school and meets UMF admission standards, she said. The letter is good for admission to any course of study, she said.

“Your parents may want to keep this in the safety-deposit box,” she told him.

Buzzell was among 11 finalists who were pared down to two through 12 rounds of questions about states, national parks and countries.


Buzzell and Colin Aponte of Brooklin faced off for three championship questions. Buzzell answered the most of them correctly to take the win.

Aponte is a home-schooled student and in the sixth grade.

Devon Hunter of Orrington took third place. Hunter is a seventh-grader at Center Drive Middle School. 

Bee coordinator Brian Cushing presented a $50 check to Hunter from the National Geographic Society, a $75 check to Aponte and a $100 check to Buzzell.

“If you win the national bee, you’ll get thousands,” Cushing told Buzzell.

Buzzell said he studied a lot to prepare for the bee.  

“I didn’t think I’d get it,” he said after the competition.

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