3rd place Eli Mercer, 2nd Gavin Barber, and 1st Lilly Paxton.

Lilly Paxton was named local champion at ABO’s local National Geographic Geography Bee held on January 31.

Lilly says that she and her Grandma Jane went on the National Geographic Bee website and printed out some study guides.

“I studied beforehand with my grandma,” said Lilly. “Most of the questions were easy. I knew most from prior knowledge.”

Lilly says that she focused her studies on geographic areas where she is less knowledgeable. “I’m weak on southern areas, so we focused on that and went continent by continent and country by country.”

It wasn’t until the final round that Lilly missed a question. “I got two wrong in the championship round, but I didn’t have any wrong before that,” said Lilly. “There were a couple I was iffy about, but I gave my best guess and I was right.”

In order to prepare for the State Geo Bee qualifying test, Lilly says she’ll employ the same strategies she used to get ready for the local bee. “I’ll just test myself with my grandma, and thoroughly go through it all, every continent and country.”

The National Geographic GeoBee is an annual competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world.