GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Two Gulfport fifth graders are ready to show off their history smarts. On June 9, they will compete for the title of "History Bee Champion." They are busy gearing up for the national competition.
The questions are rapid fire. The answers are fast and furious. A fun, fierce competition at Bayou View Elementary Friday tested the students' knowledge of famous faces, phrases and facts of the past.
The gifted students were helping two of their classmates brush up on their history know how. Fifth graders Ryan Newman and Daniel Odenthal are preparing to compete in the National History Bee in Chicago next month.
"Excited and nervous," said Daniel.
"I was super excited and pretty nervous actually, because I've never been to nationals, and this was my first time competing in the History Bee," said Ryan.
Both boys had to take an online regional qualifying exam, then make it past the regional competition.
"I like learning about things in the past. History is a mystery," said Daniel.
Now, they will compete against hundreds of other history buffs for the national title.
"I read a lot of history books and go online a lot and look up some random history facts. I study a lot," said Ryan.
"I read a book made for the competition and sometimes on the weekends, I would go on the computer and look up videos on history," said Daniel.
This will be Daniel's second time competing at the national level. He said one of the keys to winning is how fast you can buzz in.
"This helps me work my buzzer hand to make it faster to answer questions," said Daniel.
"They're both pretty confident. They're not the type to get nervous and melt down. They've set their different goals and they want to get to the finals," said Bayou View Elementary gifted teacher Carol Lacy.
If one of them wins, he will make history in South Mississippi.
"I'm going to bring home the trophy and the money," said Ryan with a big smile.
There are separate competitions for two different age groups. The grand prize winners will each receive a $2,000 scholarship and other prizes. This is the third year that Bayou View Elementary has competed in the History Bee, and every year, a student at the school has made it to the national finals.