Sixth-grader Owen Fink wins 2017 South Dakota National Geographic State Bee

ABERDEEN, S.D. Owen Fink, a sixth-grader from Bridgewater-Emery School, took top honors at the 2017 South Dakota National Geographic Bee held today at Northern State University in Aberdeen. This is Owen’s second year as state champion.

The state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, 4th Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent South Dakota in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 14-17, 2017. 

Sam Newitt of the Challenge Center-Robert Frost School in Sioux Falls won second place and $75, and Carter Remmers of Watertown Intermediate School won third place and $50. Up to 100 fourth- to eighth-graders in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Atlantic and Pacific territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools took part in today’s State Bees.

The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the 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. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.

The national championship preliminary rounds will take place on Sunday, May 14, and Monday, May 15, in Washington, D.C. The national championship final rounds featuring the top 10 finalists will be held on Wednesday, May 17, at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters and moderated by humorist and journalist Mo Rocca. National Geographic will air the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 19. It will be aired later on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.

Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the exciting Geo Bee Quiz, an online geography quiz at, which poses 10 new questions a day.

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. We support educators to ensure that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. We aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.