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The National Championship for the 8th Dawn In Education Spelling Bee 2012 was held at the Islamabad Club Auditorium on October 18, 2012. Teams from both Lahore and Karachi had flown there for the grand finale of the largest and the most exciting Spelling Bee so far.

As parents, teachers and siblings began to gather at the venue, the atmosphere was charged with excitement and anticipation.

To make things even more interesting, this time the words in the first round were taken from four different categories — French origin words, German origin words, Dawn round and Entertainment.

In the Dawn round, the newspaper and its in-paper magazines were incorporated, so words were taken from Young World and other Dawn magazines such as Herald, Spider and Aurora among others. The Dawn round was the most popular choice among the students.

In the Entertainment round, words were taken from art, theatre, sports, film, dance, music and world cultures categories. After this, the Rapid Bee round began in which participants had to spell as many words as they could in 40 seconds. Despite the pressure, participants performed remarkably.

After the second round in all age groups, the final four contestants moved on to the third and final Win the Bee round — a knockout round which decided the champion, first and second runner-ups.

Jazim Nadeem from EMS, Islamabad, and Leila Rasul Khan from Karachi Grammar School, Karachi, were declared the National Champions of the 9-11 and 12-14 age groups respectively.

While Muhammad Ahsan Iqbal from Lahore Grammar School, Multan, was the National Champion for the 15-17 age group, Zeeshan Rasool from Karachi Grammar School, Karachi, Furqan Alavi from EMS, Islamabad and Mohammad Daniyal Ali from Karachi Grammar School, Karachi, were the 1st runner-ups in the 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17 categories respectively.

The 2nd runner-ups were Maheen Amir from DHA Senior School for Girls, Lahore, in the 9-11 age group, Khadija Azhar from LACAS, Lahore, in the 12-14 age group and Hira Irfan, also from LACAS, Lahore, in the 15-17 age group.

The cash prizes and trophies were distributed among the winners by Mr Peter Brennan, Director of Communication and Public Affairs of the US Embassy. Prizes and judges for the competition were provided by the Oxford University Press. Prizes were presented to the students and judges by Ms Ameena Sayid, Managing Director OUP.

The jury for the competition comprised two judges: Ms Ameena Saiyid and Ms Tayyaba Aquil, Academic Coordinator OUP. Pronouncers for the competition were Ms Azka Khan and Mr Faez Roger. And Dawn moderator was Ms Rabeea Salman from Dawn, Lahore.