May 27, 2004

National Geography Bee results

Posted by Ed

The finals of the National Geography Bee were held in Washington, D.C., yesterday, and a 14-year-old eighth grader from Kansas went home as the champion. (Click here for a National Geographic Society press result on the finals, here for a press release on the first round, and here for a newspaper article on the event.)

I've watched the results of the competition with interest every year since 1991, when I competed in the bee myself. (I won in Massachusetts, went to the national event, and missed making the top ten when I answered the last of thirteen tie-breaker questions incorrectly. Almost enough to make you superstitious, huh?) I think the competition is a fantastic way to increase interest in geography among middle-schoolers and an even better opportunity to recognize the strengths of kids who are interested in academics; I also think it provides a fascinating look at a lot of issues in contemporary society. (Why do more boys than girls compete at each level of the competition? Should we surprised at the high number of home-schooled children?) I wish that this event could get at least half the publicity of the National Spelling Bee, which seems like a far less interesting competition...

Update: I realized, after typing this entry, that I used the old name for the competition, rather than its new, preferred title. I can't help but think that "The National Geographic Bee" sounds silly, though, so I don't think I'll bother editing the entry above. Is The National Geographic Society really that desperate to make sure it gets recognition for the event?

Posted by Ed at May 27, 2004 10:31 PM
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