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Watch The National Geographic Bee on June 16 at 5 p.m.

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  • Katie Culpepper
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2012 National Geographic Bee 

Do you know which Bavarian City located on the Danube River was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806? If you weren’t sure that it was Regenburg, you might not be smarter than an eighth-grader, but you shouldn’t be too disappointed. The National Geographic Bee brings the United States’ best and brightest middle school Geography students together in Washington, D.C., each year to test their geographical knowledge about places like Regenburg. The “2012 National Geographic Bee” will air Saturday, June 16, at 5 p.m. on AETN.

Representing Arkansas in the contest this year’s contest is the state’s returning geography bee champion, eleven-year-old Christian Boekhout of Hot Springs. In addition to being a geography whiz, the Spa City sixth-grader plays the saxophone, enjoys soccer and basketball, and had a great time taking National Geographic on a tour of Hot Springs. When asked what he looked forward about returning to the National Geographic Bee, Christian told National Geographic, “I’m excited to go back to D.C. to see some of my buddies that I met last year and to meet new people. Washington was really fun … we got to go to museums, the mall, the monuments and the park in Maryland.”

Fourth through eighth grade state, U.S. territory, and Department of Defense finalists joined Christian in D.C. for the 2012 National Geographic Bee in May. Designed to encourage the study and love of geography, this educational program of the National Geographic Society is a nationwide geography competition for U.S. schools and homeschool associations with any grades four through eight. Christian won the Hot Springs Intermediate School Geography Bee and passed a qualifying test before going on to the Arkansas State Geography Bee, were he won the right to represent Arkansas in the 2012 national Bee. Participants in the 2012 National Geographic Bee were invited to National Geographic headquarters in late May to compete in the national finals for scholarships in the amount of U.S. $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000.

Watch the “National Geographic Bee” this Saturday to see Christian compete, find out who wins and add some wrinkles to your brain! If you’re interested in learning how your child or school can compete, check out the 2012 National Geographic Bee’s website.

“2012 National Geographic Bee,” Saturday, June 16, at 5 p.m.