ST. CLOUD -- Five area students put their knowledge of geography to the test at the 28th annual National Geographic State Bee today (Friday) at St. Cloud State University.

The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography.

Over 100 fourth through eighth graders from each state are testing their knowledge about geography.

Seventh grader Sam Brewer from Kennedy Community School, eighth grader Feodor Blinnikov from North Junior High School, eighth grader Janagan Ramanathan from Sartell Middle School, eighth grader Winston Johnson from South Junior High School and sixth grader Matthew Bolton from St. John's Prep competed in this mornings preliminary round.

Bolton advanced to the final round, where he was eliminated on his ninth question of the round.

The winner of the state geographic bee will receive $100, a book, a medal and compete in the National Geographic Bee Championship in Washington, D.C., May 22-25.

The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.

Sartell-St. Stephen student Gopi Ramanathan was the last local student to win the state contest back in 2012.