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Andrew Hull wins 2012 Alaska Geographic Bee

Fairbanks, Alaska-For the second year in a row, Andrew Hull of Anchorage took top honors at the Alaska state-level Geographic Bee held Friday in Anchorage.

Hull, 11, is a sixth-grader at Rogers Park Elementary School. He prepared for the competition by studying facts he wrote on index cards and said he loves geography because it lets you know where things are in the world.

"If somebody tells you a funny fact you know where it happened," he said. Hull credited his family with helping him prepare for the bee, especially his older brother Arthur Hull, who also was a top-10 finalist.

When Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan congratulated Hull, he said, "Haven't we done this before?" Sullivan said the demonstration of knowledge at the competition is a tribute to the school system and parents. In Friday's opening remarks, Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau said, "I can't think of anything more important for young people to know than geography. You can't discuss issues if you don't know where people live."

Hull received $100, the "Complete National Geographic on DVD" and the honor of representing Alaska in the National Geographic Bee May 22-24 in Washington, D.C. Last year he made it to the top-10 round.

Twenty-one of Alaska's 53 school districts were represented in the bee, with about 100 students competing. They qualified by winning their school bee and passing a written examination. The bee is sponsored by National Geographic Society, Google and Plum Creek. The UA Geography Program, Alaska Geographic Alliance and numerous social studies teachers facilitate the event.

First prize in the national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. The national winner earns a trip to the Galapagos Islands. The national bee will be televised on May 24 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time Zone.

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