It's time for the 25th Annual Michigan National Geographic Bee and the Copper Country has a few of its own students attending.
From Houghton Middle School is eighth-grade student Noah Gershenson, who is actually attending for the second time. He previously made the cut in fifth grade.
As of now, Gershenson is spending most of his time studying. At the school level bee, Gershenson said he tried to study a couple times a week for at least an hour. But now that he's going to the state bee, he's bumped that study time up.
Scott Viau/Daily Mining Gazette
Noah Gershenson studies for the 2013 Michigan Geographic Bee, which takes place today in downstate Kalamazoo. Gershenson will be accompanied by two other local students, Harkin Massopust from Lake Linden-Hubbell and Murphy Mallow from Hancock Middle School.
"I'm getting more intense," he said. "I'm studying for an hour and a half a day."
As for study aides, Gershenson said there a few websites that are good. He also studies using computer programs that he owns.
"Right now I'm just refreshing my mind on world capitals."
Despite having come so far already, Gershenson is anxious to get through the bee.
"I've put in so much effort," he said. "It's eating away at me inside."
The preliminary round will be from 12:30 to 2 p.m. If Gershenson passes that, then there's the top 10 final round for the state that he will go through.
So far, Gershenson said the whole experience has taught him how to prepare.
"It's definitely taught me lots of study skills and time management - all that fun, fun stuff."
This is Gershenson's last year of eligibility for the bee, so he wants to make the most of it.
"I'm just sort of excited to go and do as well as I possibly can," he said. "I really want to just put in 110 percent."
Also attending the bee will be Hancock Middle School eighth-grade student Murphy Mallow.
Hancock Public Schools Superintendent and Middle School Principal Monica Healy said everyone is very excited for him.
"It's a tough contest and for him to get to this level is great," she said in an email Thursday.
As for how Mallow felt, Healy describes him as being a humble person.
"I'm sure he was pleased, but he didn't say a lot," Healy said. "He and his parents should be very proud."
Healy said she hopes Mallow will realize what an accomplishment and an honor it is to have gotten this far in the competition.
"Hopefully his trip downstate is full of great experiences and he is able to meet some new, interesting people," she said. "I know he will represent Hancock Middle School and our community well. He is a great person."
Also participating in the bee is eighth-grade Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School student Harkin Massopust.
Winners of the state bee, which takes place today at the Fetzer Center at Western Michigan University in downstate Kalamazoo, will then go on to compete at the national level, which will be hosted by Alex Trebek and air May 23 on local public television stations.