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WASHINGTON (March 16, 2016)—On Friday, April 1, young geography whizzes across the United States and U.S. territories will participate in National Geographic State Bees, competing for a spot in the 28th Annual National Geographic Bee Championship in Washington, D.C., May 23-25, 2016.

Up to 100 fourth- to eighth-graders in each of the 50 states, the 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 September, when millions of students participated in contests at thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories.

Each state Bee champion will receive $100, the National Geographic book “The National Parks: An Illustrated History” and a medal, and will journey to Washington, D.C., to represent his or her state in the National Geographic Bee Championship at National Geographic headquarters May 23-25.

The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. The national champion will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, on a Lindblad expedition to southeast Alaska aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, including 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 National Geographic Society believes in the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to change the world,” said National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary Knell. “Through experiences like the National Geographic Bee, we are creating lifelong learners and educating global citizens, teaching students about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and to make it a better place.”

The national championship preliminary rounds will take place on Monday, May 23, in Washington, D.C. The national championship final rounds featuring the top 10 finalists will be held on Wednesday, May 25, at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. This year, the final rounds will be moderated for the first time by humorist and journalist Mo Rocca. National Geographic Channel will air the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 27. 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 GeoBee Challenge, an online geography quiz at that poses 10 new questions a day.

Note to Editors: 2016 National Geographic Bee press resources can be found at

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

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