Changing Planet

National Geographic Bee App Is Free Today

National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. is a hive of activity today, buzzing with some of the brightest grade school students in the U.S.– 54 boys and girls who won the National Geographic Bee State Championships.

Nearly 5 million students participated in the National Geographic Bee. The 54 state winners came to Washington to compete for the national championship.

I was a moderator in the preliminary round yesterday, and I can tell you that even though I have worked for National Geographic for 14 years I could not answer two-thirds of the questions I was reading. These students are phenomenal. There isn’t much they don’t know about geography — the margin between the winners and runners-up yesterday was a point or two, so close that it required a tie-breaker.

Now we can all join in the fun — and improve our geographic knowledge — by downloading the National Geographic Bee app. Ordinarily $1.99 for a download, it is free today and tomorrow. You may find more details here.

The preliminary round of the 23rd annual National Geographic Bee was held yesterday, Tuesday, May 24. The top 10 finishers — from a field of 54 state-level winners who took part in the prelims — compete in the final round to be held at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., today, Wednesday, May 25. First prize is a $25,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a trip to the Galápagos Islands. Second- and third-place winners receive $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships respectively.

The 10 finalists are:

  • Andrew Hull, Alaska
  • Luke Hellum, Arizona
  • Tuvya Bergson-Michelson, California
  • Nilai Sarda, Georgia
  • Kevin Mi, Indiana
  • Stefan Petrovic´, Kansas
  • Karthik Karnik, Massachusetts
  • Alex Kimn, South Dakota
  • Tine Valencic, Texas
  • Anthony Cheng, Utah


Watch this video for more about the National Geographic Bee:


Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media.

Assignments in 80 countries/territories included visits to a secret rebel base in Angola, Sahrawi camps in Algeria, and Wayana villages in the remote Amazon. Braun traveled with Nelson Mandela on the liberation leader’s Freedom Tour of North America, accompanied President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to their foundation’s projects in four African countries and Mexico, covered African peace talks chaired by Fidel Castro in Havana and Boutros Boutros-Ghali in Cairo, and collaborated with Angelina Jolie at World Refugee Day events in Washington, D.C. As a member of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, and media representative to the Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration, he joined researchers on field inspections in many parts of the world.

Braun has been a longtime member/executive of journalist guilds, press clubs, and professional groups, including the National Press Club (Washington) and editorial committee of the Online Publishers Association. He served as WMA Magazine of the Year Awards judge (2010-2012), advisory board member of Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest (2012), and multimedia/communications affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers (2015-2017).

David Braun edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world.

He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience.

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  • Nestor Colon


  • Steve

    Question from today’s quiz: “What present-day country, located at the southwestern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, supplied frankincense and myrrh to the ancient world?”

    Answer: Italy

    Since when was Italy located at the southwestern edge of the Arabian Peninsula?

  • Amnna

    The app is not free :s

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