March 17, 2023

Scripps Regional Spelling Bee causing a 'buzz' this weekend in Indy


The custom-designed Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy features design elements related to the history of the spelling bee. The national spelling bee event begins May 30, 2023 in National Harbor, Md. - AP File Photo

The custom-designed Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy features design elements related to the history of the spelling bee. The national spelling bee event begins May 30, 2023 in National Harbor, Md.

AP File Photo

This weekend is the is Scripps Regional Spelling Bee in Indianapolis.

Twenty-five 3rd through 8th graders will represent 19 schools throughout Hamilton and Marion counties. Participants are students who won their school and district spelling bee competitions.

For the second year in a row, the School of Education at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis will host the bee. It is 4-6 p.m. Sunday on the IUPUI campus at Lecture Hall, 325 University Blvd. 

Tim Williams, regional bee coordinator and interim assistant dean of the IU School of Education at IUPUI, said there has been a lot of buzz around the competition. Participation rose by 30 percent. 

“With this being March Madness, as we're getting into the basketball tournament this time of year, it’s really competitive,” Williams said. “It's really interesting to see that same energy, or similar energy, is tied into the bee.”

The winner of the Regional Bee will go on to represent the state of Indiana in the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Md. The Rotary Club of Indianapolis will provide financial assistance to pay for the winning family to attend the competition.

First, second and third place regional winners will receive a trophy. Students will also receive scholarship money to IUPUI, which will be paid out over four years, if they choose to attend the university in the future. The first place winner receives a $10,000 scholarship, second place receives $7,500 and third place receives $5,000.

Williams said the annual spelling competitions help students increase their vocabularies and improve their spelling.

The winner of the National Spelling Bee will be awarded more than $50,000 in cash prizes, a commemorative medal and trophy. Launched in 1925, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program.

Contact WFYI education reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at egabriel@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @_elizabethgabs.

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