Kamali‘i student qualifies for state geography bee for the second time

MARISOL LAWLER, Kamali‘i’s geography champion

Kamali’i Elementary School 5th-grader Marisol Lawler was one of several students who qualified for the state geography bee on Oahu on March 29 at Punahou School.

The geography bee culminates with an annual national competition in Washington, D.C., in May.

It is a competition for students in 4th through 8th grade and created by the National Geographic Society to inspire a greater curiosity and knowledge of the world.

There were 35 finalists across Hawaii that qualified for the state geography bee. Only three were from Maui; the other two were 6th-grader Roran Mullen from Doris Todd Christian Academy in Paia and 7th-grader Pono Fortune from Kalama Intermediate School in Makawao.

Lawler took an online test in February to qualify for the state geography bee held on Oahu after becoming Kamali’i’s geography champion in January. The second-place runner-up is Ezekiel Kamalani, another 5th- grade student at Kamali’i. The school coordinator is Wendy Wells, a 5th-grade teacher at the school in Kihei.

EZEKIEL KAMALANI, Kamali‘i’s second-place runner-up

At the state competition, Lawler maintained a perfect score in the first four rounds of the state competition (there are eight total rounds). This is the second time she qualified. She is one of the youngest, being one of only eight 4th-/5th- graders this year competing against students in 6th through 8th grades.

The National Geographic Art Gallery in Wailea will be holding a reception within the next few weeks to celebrate the students’ successes.