13-year old Madelyn Kirsch of Lewistown is one of 278 young people competing today at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Here are some interesting facts about this year's contestants:

There are spellers representing each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe; as well as the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

The vast majority of the contestants are 12-14 years old, but this year the field includes 6-year old Lori Anne Madison, a 2nd grader from Virginia. She is the youngest competitor ever to qualify for the national spelling bee.

69% of this year's spellers attend public schools (Madelyn attends Lewistown Junior High), 19% go to private or parochial schools, 10% are home schooled and 2% attend charter schools.

How would you do at the national spelling bee? Click HERE to take a sample spelling test at www.spellingbee.com .