The National Geographic Society recently recognized Sam Burnett, an eighth grader at Sacred Heart School, as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2014 Missouri State Geographic Bee, sponsored by Google and Plum Creek.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 26th year. Bees were held in schools with fourth through eighth grade students throughout the state to determine each school’s Bee winner. Winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society invited the students with the top 100 scores in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete at the state level.

The 2014 Missouri Geographic Bee will be held at Moberly Area Community College in Moberly on Friday, April 4, 2014. The state winner will receive $100 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Missouri n the National Geographic Bee finals to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19-21, 2014. The national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the Society.  The national winner will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, to the Galápagos Islands, where he/she will experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the islands’ unique wildlife and landscapes.

Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Visit the National Geographic website for more information on the National Geographic Bee.

National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round of the 2014 National Geographic Bee, moderated by new host Soledad O’Brien, on Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m. ET (to be followed on public television stations).