Friday, March 29, 2013

Students vie to become Alaska Geographic Bee champion

Finalists in the 2012 State Geographic Bee waited for questions that tested their geographic knowledge.This year's Bee is April 5.
Alaska students will compete in the National Geographic state-level Bee Friday, April 5 at the Egan Center in Anchorage. One hundred fourth through eighth graders from schools across the state will participate. The contestants have pre-qualified by winning their school’s bee and passing a qualifying test.

The kinds of questions posed during the bee are:
“Which state has a climate suitable for growing citrus fruits, California or Maine?”
“The North Atlantic current brings warm waters from the tropics to the west coast of which continent?”
“To visit the ruins of Persepolis, an ancient capital of Persia, you would have to travel to what present-day country?”

Preliminary rounds in the morning will determine the top 10 finalists who then compete in the afternoon for first place. The winner will represent the state at the National Geographic Bee May 20-22 in Washington, D.C. The national winner receives a $25,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

The top 10 national finalists for 2013 along with last year’s top 10 will be eligible for selection for the three-person team to represent the United States at the National Geographic World Championship in July, to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

John Fahey, National Geographic Society chairman and CEO, said, “2013 is a special year for us as we celebrate two important anniversaries: the Society’s 125th and the National Geographic Bee’s 25th. As we look to the future — and an exciting new age of exploration — our work of fostering young talent who will be the scientists, explorers and brightest minds of tomorrow is more important than ever. Through the National Geographic Bee and our other activities, we hope to encourage a lifelong passion for learning about the world and its many wonders, challenges and opportunities for exploration and discovery.”

Google is sponsoring the Bee for the fourth year. “Because maps are such an integral part of how we live and do business, it’s important that we invest in geographic literacy and education. The students who participate in the National Geographic Bee have demonstrated an impressive understanding of the world around them, and we’re thrilled that young minds across the globe are using Google Geo products to learn and collaborate. In this 25th year of the competition, we’re proud to sponsor the program and encourage the next generation of explorers and innovators,” said Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering, Google Earth and Maps.

“The Geographic Bee is an outstanding program that provides students a unique opportunity to better understand our world and the events happening around them,” said Bob Jirsa, president, Plum Creek Foundation. “Education is one of the focal points of our Plum Creek Foundation, so we’re pleased to continue our partnership with the National Geographic  Society’s Geographic Bee program to sponsor state Bees across the United States.”

The state Bees are the second level of the annual National Geographic Bee. The first level began last November with contests in nearly 11,000 U.S. schools, in which millions of students participated.The preliminary rounds of the national contest will take place on Monday, May 20. The championship round featuring the top 10 finalists — moderated by “Jeopardy!” quizmaster Alex Trebek for the 25th year — will be held on Wednesday, May 22, at the National Theater in Washington, D.C. For the first and only time, tickets for the national finals are on sale to the public at National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23. It will be aired later on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.

The National Geographic GeoBee Challenge app, with more than 1,000 questions culled from past Bees, is available from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad or on Google Play.

National Geographic developed the National Geographic Bee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States

For additional information on the National Geographic Bee please visit here. Bee coordinator for Alaska is Kristin Shea,

The School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences is the home of the UA Geography Program, which provides support to the Bee.

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