Seventeen Missouri students are among 565 spellers in America preparing to be in the national spotlight for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 92nd annual competition will be May 26 through the 31 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Last year, Missouri had 15 spellers compete in the contest. Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas, won last year’s bee by correctly spelling the word “koinonia.”

This year’s kids come from every region of the state, ages 11 to 14.

Meet Missouri’s national spelling bee whiz kids