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National Geographic Bee

From Academic Kids

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A 1999 National Geography Bee contestant with his chaperones.
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A shot before the preliminary rounds of the 1999 National Geography Bee.

The National Geographic Bee (previously called the National Geography Bee) is an annual geography contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

The Bee, held every year since 1989, is open to the students in American schools. The winner of each school-level competition takes a written test, and the top one-hundred in each state or territory qualify for the state Bee. Then, the winners of the fifty-five state and territory Bees advance to the national competition. At the national level, after another competition, the top ten contestants qualify for the finals, which are hosted by the gameshow host Alex Trebek. The winner of the finals receives a $25,000 scholarship, second place $15,000 and third place $10,000.

The 2004 National Geographic Bee was held at the school level prior to January 16, at the state level on April 2, and at the national level on May 25.

To determine who gets to be on the national telecast, a preliminary round of nine questions are posed to each national finalist (the finalists are split up into five rooms of eleven contestants). Typically, to go on, one needs to answer eight out of nine geography-related questions correctly. If needed, the Society will defer to special tie-breaker questions to decide the Top Ten contestants.

Champions

Of the sixteen National Geographic Bee Champions, fifteen are male and one is female. Four are from the State of Michigan, four from the State of Washington, two from Kansas, and one each from various other states.

  • 1989 - Jack Staddon
    • State: Kansas
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: Name the flat intermontane area located at an elevation of about 10,000 feet (3,050 meters) in the central Andes.
    • Answer: Altiplano
  • 1991 - David Stillman
    • State: Idaho
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: What type of landform is commonly associated with orographic precipitation?
    • Answer: Mountain
    • Note: Only champion with a perfect score in the finals
  • 1992 - Lawson Fite
    • State: Washington
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: Many coastal countries have established so-called EEZs—areas extending 200 nautical miles from shore over which countries have sovereign rights for resource exploration. What do the initials EEZ stand for?
    • Answer: Exclusive Economic Zone
  • 1993 - Noel Erinjeri
    • State: Michigan
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: Tagalog is one of the three main native languages of which island country in Asia?
    • Answer: The Philippines
  • 1994 - Anders Knospe
    • State: Montana
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: The Tagus River roughly divides which European country into two agricultural regions?
    • Answer: Portugal
  • 1995 - Chris Galeczka
    • State: Michigan
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: Pashtu and Dari are the official languages of which mountainous, landlocked country in southwestern Asia?
    • Answer: Afghanistan
  • 1997 - Alex Kerchner
    • State: Washington
    • Grade: Seventh
    • Winning Question: Asia's most densely populated country has about three million people and an area of less than 250 square miles (402 square kilometers). Name this country.
    • Answer: Singapore
  • 1998 - Petko Peev
    • State: Michigan
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: More than 80 million people live in the European Union's most populous member country. Name this country.
    • Answer: Germany
  • 1999 - David Beihl
    • State: South Carolina
    • Grade: Eighth (homeschooled)
    • Winning Question: The condition characterized by unusually cold ocean temperature in the equatorial region of the eastern Pacific Ocean is known by what Spanish name?
    • Answer: La Niņa
  • 2000 - Felix Peng
    • State: Connecticut
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: Name two of the three largest sections of Denmark, which include its mainland peninsula and two largest islands
    • Answer: Jutland, Sjaelland and Fyn
  • 2001 - Kyle Haddad Fonda
    • State: Washington
    • Grade: Eighth
    • Winning Question: Below the equilibrium line of glaciers there is a region of melting, evaporation, and sublimation. Name this zone.
    • Answer: Zone of ablation
  • 2002 - Calvin McCarter
    • State: Michigan
    • Grade: Fifth (homeschooled)
    • Winning Question: Lop Nur, a marshy depression at the east end of the Tarim Basin, is a nuclear test site for which country?
    • Answer: China (People's Republic)
    • Note: Youngest champion

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