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Seventh grader Christian Homnack was the winner and classmate Connor Spencer finished as the runner-up in MMI Preparatory School’s competition as part of qualifications for the National Geographic Bee. MMI’s Geographic Bee competition, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee. As MMI’s winner, Homnack now has a chance to compete for a $50,000 college scholarship.

Christian Homnack is the son of Lori Pavell, Hazleton, and Dennis Homnack, St. Johns. Connor Spencer is the son of Christina and Christopher Spencer, Mountaintop.

Grete Floryshak, MMI Social Sciences instructor and adviser for the competition, said, “I’d like to commend Christian, Connor and all of MMI’s participants for their dedication to the competition. We’re honored to have Christian represent MMI as he advances to the state level of the competition.”

National Geographic BeeThousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories are participating in the 2017 National Geographic Bee. Christian Homnack and other school champions will take a qualifying test and up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee on March 31. The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., for state winners to participate in the Bee national championship rounds May 15-17. The first-place national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society (including a subscription to National Geographic magazine) and a trip to the Galápagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. The national finals will air on television on May 19 at 8 p.m. EST on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD, and later on public television stations. Check local listings for dates and times.

National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. It funds hundreds of research and conservation projects around the globe each year. With the support of members and donors, the organization works to inspire, illuminate and teach through scientific expeditions, award-winning journalism, education initiatives and more. For more information, visit


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