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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 21, 2016)—The National Geographic Bee, the National Geographic Society’s annual geography competition, welcomes journalist and humorist Mo Rocca as the new moderator of the competition finals, which will be held at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. This year, the 28th year of competition, will see 54 geography whiz kids take the stage at the end of May to compete for the title of National Geographic Bee Champion.
Currently, Rocca hosts the Emmy-winning series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and is a regular correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. No stranger to the rigors of competition, Rocca also appears as a frequent panelist on NPR’s news quiz show, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!.
In 2012, Rocca became the host and creator of Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, in which he learned how to cook from grandmothers and grandfathers in kitchens across the United States. He began his career in television as a writer and producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning PBS children’s series Wishbone. From 1998 to 2003, Rocca served as a regular correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, notably contributing to a series of special episodes called Indecision 2000 satirizing the 2000 Presidential Election. In 2004, Mo wrote a historical novel, All the Presidents’ Pets, about White House pets and their role in presidential decision-making. The following year, Rocca starred in a “bee” of his own during his stint on Broadway as the bee’s moderator, Panch, in the musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
The National Geographic Bee is an annual geography competition for fourth- through eighth-graders. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and will also have the opportunity to travel on a Lindblad expedition to southeast Alaska aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion. The expedition will include 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 Bee was developed by the National Geographic Society in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Since then, the event has empowered students to learn about their world and how they can make an impact as global citizens. Tune in to see Rocca moderate the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD, Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m. ET/PT and starting Saturday, May 28, on local public television stations
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.
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