By Richard Bammer
It was a bee of a different sort, and Vaca Pena Middle School student Alex Topp came up just short of advancing to the final rounds, tripping on this question: What city in what country has a gold museum of pre-Columbian gold and is next to the Magdalena River? Answer: Bogota, Colombia.
While Alex, 13, an eighth-grader known locally for his spelling prowess, missed the answer, he correctly nailed seven others Friday morning during the preliminary round of the 2015 California National Geographic State Bee at California State University, Fresno.
But to advance, he said, contestants were required to correctly answer all eight questions for a chance to be state champion and receive $100, the National Geographic Atlas of the World, 10th Edition, a medal, and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent California in the national bee, to be held at NGS headquarters May 11 to 13.