Ascension Parish community photo gallery for March 12, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by CHARMON LEMAIRE -- Joel Walker, a student at Lowery Middle School in Donaldsonville, was named a Louisiana National Geographic State Bee Semifinalist by the National Geographic Society in March.

Joel Walker, a sixth-grade student at Lowery Middle School in Donaldsonville, is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2015 Louisiana National Geographic State Bee.

The contest, sponsored by Google and Plum Creek, will be March 27 at the Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center at the Catholic Life Center in Baton Rouge.

The competition is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 27th year, a news release from the National Geographic Society said. Spelling Bees were held for students in fourth through eighth grades in schools throughout the state to determine each school’s champion. School champions took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society, the release said.

The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, 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 Atlas of the World, 10th Edition,” a medal and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent his or her state in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters May 11-13.

The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the society. The national champion also will travel, along with one parent or guardian, all expenses paid, to the Galápagos Islands, where he or she will experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the islands’ wildlife and landscapes, the release said.

Visit for information on the National Geographic Bee.