Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School eighth-grader Evan Poirier has qualified as a semifinalist to compete in the 2017 Iowa National Geographic State Bee. 
The contest will be held at the University of Northern Iowa, Maucker Union on Friday, March 31, 2017. 

Evan is the son of Cheryl Syke and Brian Poirier of East Dubuque. This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 29th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State Bees.

Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, 4th Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 14-17, 2017. 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. Visit www.natgeobee.org for more information on the National Geographic Bee.

The National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the 2017 National Geographic Bee Championship, moderated by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca, on Friday, May 19, at 8 p.m. ET. Public television stations will broadcast the final round at a later date.