Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a joyous time to remember those who have passed away. In Mexico, ancient Aztec traditions were combined with Christianity during the Spanish conquest. As a result, each year families construct colorful altars or ofrendas in their homes that essentially welcome the spirit of their loved ones on November 1st and 2nd.
Students in Grades 5–8 competed in the preliminary round of the National Geographic Bee in their history classes over the past week.
Out of these four grades, nine finalists advanced to the school level of competition which took place on Tuesday, December 12, in the Middle School Commons and was attended by all Middle School students. The finalists were Grade 5 student Arhip, Grade 6 students Max, Jayden, and Logan, Grade 7 students Alex, Ashton, and Aiden, and Grade 8 students Aysu and Georgia.
Ashton was crowned the Sewickley Academy National Geographic Bee Champion and will advance to the next level of competition, a qualifying test to determine state competitors. All school champions are eligible to win the national championship on May 20-23, 2018, held in Washington, D.C., and its first place prize, a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Aysu placed second and Aiden placed third.
According to its website, the National Geographic Bee is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world. Students in Grades 4-8 from 10,000 schools across the United States will compete in the 2018 National Geographic Bee for a chance to win college scholarships and the glory of being the National Geographic Bee Champion.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee which began in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Over three decades, 1,583 state champions have traveled to D.C. to participate in the finals and more than $1.5 million in college scholarship money has been awarded to winners of the competition by the National Geographic Society.