WASHINGTON (May 10, 2016)—Fifty-four geography whizzes from across the United States will gather in Washington, D.C., from May 23 to 25 to take part in the 28th annual National Geographic Bee. The fourth- through eighth-graders, who range in age from 10 to 14, will be competing for the chance to be the 2016 national champion and win one of three college scholarships.
The 2016 National Geographic Bee champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. The national champion will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, on a Lindblad expedition to southeast Alaska aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, including a stop at Glacier Bay National Park, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.
The preliminary round of the 2016 National Geographic Bee will take place on Monday, May 23. The top-10 finishers will each win $500 and advance to the final round on Wednesday, May 25, moderated for the first time by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca. The finals of the National Geographic Bee will air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 27. It will be aired later on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.
The 54 finalists, winners of their National Geographic State Bees, represent the 50 states, District of Columbia, Atlantic Territories, Pacific Territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools. These finalists used their geographic knowledge to rise above millions of fourth- through eighth-grade students across the United States and territories to earn a place in the national championship.
A whopping 17 of the students taking part in this year’s National Geographic Bee are repeat state winners, including one, Mika Ishii of Hawaii, who is competing at the national level for the fourth time. She represented her state at the 2012, 2014, and 2015 National Geographic Bees. Returning for her third shot at the overall champion title is Grace Rembert from Montana, who competed in 2013 and 2015.
Gary Knell, National Geographic Society president and CEO, said: “The National Geographic Bee teaches students not only about names and places but also about the world and how it works, empowering them to become Earth’s stewards and make it a better place. The National Geographic Bee exemplifies National Geographic’s belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world and our ongoing commitment to education.”
The National Geographic Society developed the National Geographic Bee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the exciting GeoBee Challenge, an online geography quiz at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee, which poses 10 new questions a day.
The 2015 National Geographic Bee champion was Karan Menon of New Jersey, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at John Adams Middle School in Edison. The final question, which clinched Karan’s win, was: “If completed, the proposed Grand Inga Dam would become the world’s largest hydropower plant. This dam would be built near Inga Falls on which African river?” Answer: “Congo River.”
About the National Geographic Society
National Geographic is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to change the world. We fund hundreds of research and conservation projects around the globe each year. With the support of our members and donors, we work to inspire, illuminate and teach through scientific expeditions, award-winning journalism, education initiatives and more. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.
Note to Editors: 2016 National Geographic Bee press resources can be found at http://Bit.ly/GeoBeePress
The press room site will be updated at noon on Wednesday, May 25, with names and photos of the 2016 National Geographic Bee champion and the two runners-up, as well as the winning question.