Top Geography Students to Test Skills at National Geographic State Bees on March 31

WASHINGTON (March 20, 2017)—On Friday, March 31, young geography whizzes across the United States and U.S. territories will participate in State Bees, competing for a spot in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee Championship in Washington, D.C., May 14-17, 2017.

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, which are the second level of the annual National Geographic Bee. The first level began last October, when millions of students participated in contests at thousands of schools around the United States and in five U.S. territories.

Each State Bee champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, 4th Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 14-17, 2017.

The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively.

“The National Geographic Society invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education,” said National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell. “Through programs like the National Geographic Bee, we aim to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world to ensure the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global awareness.”

The national championship preliminary rounds will take place on Sunday, May 14, and Monday, May 15, in Washington, D.C. The national championship final rounds featuring the top 10 finalists will be held on Wednesday, May 17, at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters and moderated by humorist and journalist Mo Rocca. National Geographic will air the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 19. It will be aired later on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.

Everyone can test their geography knowledge with the exciting Geo Bee Quiz, an online geography quiz at, which poses 10 new questions a day.

Note to Editors: 2017 National Geographic Bee press resources can be found at


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