WASHINGTON (March 13, 2012)—On Friday, March 30, young geography whizzes across the United States and U.S. territories will participate in state-level Geographic Bees, competing for a spot in the national competition in Washington, D.C., in May. The Bee is organized by the National Geographic Society. The 2012 National Geographic Bee is sponsored by Google Inc.; at the state level, the Bee is also sponsored by Plum Creek.
Up to 100 fourth- to eighth-graders in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, U.S. Atlantic and Pacific territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools have qualified for the state Bees. Each state winner will receive $100, “The Complete National Geographic” on DVD and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals May 22-24 and the chance to be crowned National Geographic Bee champion.
First prize in the national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finishers receive $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively. Additionally, the national winner will travel (with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, to the Galápagos Islands to experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the wildlife and landscape of the islands on an expedition aboard the National Geographic Endeavour. Travel for the Galápagos voyage is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.
The top 10 national finalists for 2012 along with next year’s top 10 will be eligible for selection for the three-person team to represent the United States at the international National Geographic World Championship in 2013, to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
John Fahey, National Geographic chairman and CEO, said “National Geographic’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet and its people. Through the National Geographic Bee and our other activities, we hope to foster a lifelong passion for learning about the world and its diverse cultures, environments and resources. By expanding students’ knowledge of people, places and events, we hope to encourage their sense of interconnectedness to others around the globe and to motivate this next generation to be responsible caretakers of our planet.”
Google is sponsoring the Bee for the fourth year. “The National Geographic Bee provides students with a unique opportunity to showcase their knowledge about the world around them. Our teams at Google are thrilled that young minds across the globe are using Google Earth as an educational tool to deepen their understanding of both natural and human geography. Over the past several years, the competition has demonstrated the power of technology to foster learning and inspire future generations, and we’re proud to sponsor the program again this year,” said Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering, Google Earth and Maps.
“The Geographic Bee is an outstanding program that provides students a unique opportunity to better understand our world and the events happening around them,” said Bob Jirsa, president, Plum Creek Foundation. “Education is one of the focal points of our Plum Creek Foundation, so we’re pleased to continue our partnership with the National Geographic Society’s Geographic Bee program to sponsor state Bees across the United States.”
The state Bees are the second level of the annual National Geographic Bee. The first level began last November with contests in nearly 12,000 U.S. schools, in which millions of students participated.
The championship round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee — moderated by “Jeopardy!” quizmaster Alex Trebek for the 24th year — will be held at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters on Thursday, May 24. National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round that evening at 8 p.m. ET/PT. It will be aired later on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.
Visitors to the Bee section of the National Geographic Society website, www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee, can hone their geography skills with the GeoBee Challenge game.
The National Geographic GeoBee Challenge app, with more than 1,000 questions culled from past Bees, is available from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, or in the Android Market.
National Geographic published two updated National Geographic Bee-related books last month: “The National Geographic Bee Ultimate Fact Book: Countries A to Z” (ISBN 978-1-4263-0947-2), by 2004 National Geographic Bee champion Andrew Wojtanik, and “How to Win the National Geographic Bee: Official Study Guide, 4th Edition” (ISBN 978-1-4263-0986-1), by Stephen Cunha.
National Geographic developed the National Geographic Bee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.
Note to Editors: Press resources on the 2012 National Geographic Bee can be found at http://bit.ly/geobee2012 (username & password: press).
About National Geographic
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television programs; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; interactive media; expeditions; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Television and FOX Cable Networks Group. It debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001 and is currently available in more than 78 million U.S. homes. Its website is at natgeotv.com. The wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD launched in 2010. It is currently available in 54 million U.S. homes. For more information, visit natgeowild.com.
About Plum Creek
Plum Creek is the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation with approximately 6.6 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest. For more information, visit www.plumcreek.com