Seven Missouri students will spell their hearts out this month for a shot to take home the coveted Scripps Cup – the Bee’s national championship trophy. The Missouri students competing in the roughly 90-year tradition are from Columbia, Blue Springs, Harrisonville, Farmington, Springfield, Trenton, and St. Louis.

They are among the 231 spellers from around the United States, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe who will be in the Washington, D.C. area to compete. Spellers will also represent three countries outside the U.S.: The Bahamas, Canada, and Ghana.

The competition is not a walk in the park. Take 2021, for instance. Some of the words that Missouri competitors were given include gastrodermis, prestidigitation, wordsworthian, habiliments, anergia, and nidicolous.

In addition to spelling, the bee has an extra layer of difficulty – the word meaning round. If a participant spells their first word correctly, they will move to the word meaning round. The speller must then select the correct multiple choice answer to a vocabulary question, in order to move to the next round.

For their participation this year, each speller will receive a variety of awards and prizes, depending on the level they reach.

One Missouri speller will return in her second consecutive national spelling bee – Aanya Shetty, of Columbia.

Meet Missouri’s seven spelling stars:

Here is the national spelling bee schedule:
Preliminaries: Tuesday, May 30, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. CST on ion Plus
Quarterfinals: Wednesday, May 31, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m CST on ion Plus
Semifinals: Wednesday, May 31, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. CST on ion
Finals: Thursday, June 1, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. CST on ion

For more information on the bee, click here.

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