Two Houston-area students named co-champions in Saturday's HoustonPBS Spelling Bee will soon head to Washington D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Shobha Dasari, a 6th grader at Leon Sablatura Middle School in Pearland ISD, and Syamantak Payra, a 7th grader at Westbrook Intermediate School in Clear Creek ISD, are co-champions of the spelling bee by spelling the winning words "oolemma" and "ogival."
Saturday's marathon competition featured 55 spellers from 42 counties in the HoustonPBS Bee, which occurred for over four hours.
Both students advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, meeting some of the nation's best spellers.
The two students receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. to represent the southwest Texas region. They will face 277 contestant spellers from across the country, aiming for victory and prizes worth more than $40,000.
The HoustonPBS Spelling Bee, now in its fifth year, is the third largest local bee in the country with 1,040 participating schools.
"Hosting and televising the Houston region's spelling bee is a natural fit," said Houston Public Media Executive Director and General Manager, Lisa Trapani Shumate. "Houston Public Media is committed to education and to giving all children the tools they need to learn as well as showcasing their successes. We appreciate the students, parents, teachers and volunteers who help make this possible."
The Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place May 28 through May 30.