Photo: The 2009 National Geographic Bee finals in Washington, DC

The 2009 National Geographic Bee finals in Washington, D.C.

Photograph by Becky Hale

  1. What is the National Geographic Bee?
  2. Who can participate in the National Geographic Bee?
  3. How do schools register for the Bee?
  4. How can my child be registered for the Bee?
  5. What if there are not six eligible students in the school or homeschool association?
  6. What materials are included in the school contest material the school receives?
  7. How can students prepare for participation in the National Geographic Bee?
  8. What is the timeline of the Bee competition?
  9. I notice my school is already registered for the Bee. How can I find out who my School Bee Coordinator is?
  10. I’m a parent. May I register my son/daughter’s school?
  11. How much does it cost to register for the National Geographic Bee?
  12. What is an acceptable form of payment for a school to register for the National Geographic Bee?
  13. Do you accept purchase orders?
  14. May I purchase a National Geographic Bee packet to use at the school-level only?
  15. Can homeschools participate in the National Geographic Bee?
  16. How do homeschools register for the National Geographic Bee?
  17. I registered my school for the Bee online. Do I keep my same username and password each year?
  18. How and when will I be notified if our School Bee winner qualified for the State level?
  19. Am I required to use the School Bee materials exactly as outlined in the instructions, or can I adapt the materials to work for my school/students?
  20. What are the prizes for the winners who compete in the National Geographic Bee finals?
  21. My child is in the third grade, but very interested in geography. Can he/she participate in the National Geographic Bee?
  22. I missed the registration deadline for the Nat Geo Bee. Can I still obtain materials to use in my school?
  23. Is the National Geographic Society the sole vendor of the Nat Geo Bee?
  24. How do I get vendor information on the National Geographic Bee?
  25. How do I contact the National Geographic Bee?

1. What is the National Geographic Bee?

The National Geographic Bee is a competition for public schools, private schools, and homeschools in the United States Atlantic and Pacific territories, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS). Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible to participate in this educational and entertaining contest.

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2. Who can participate in the National Geographic Bee?

Registration is open to schools with students in grades four through eight. Participating students must not reach their 15th birthday before September 1, 2014. A student is eligible to participate in the Bee for a period of five years only. A student may not be enrolled in more than three academic courses at the high school and/or college level during the school year. We reserve the right to disqualify a student if the rules have not been followed.

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3. How do schools register for the Bee?

Starting September 15, 2014, schools can register online.

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4. How can my child be registered for the Bee?

Individual students may not register. Only schools can register for the National Geographic Bee. Students at the registered school may then participate.

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5. What if there are not six eligible students in the school or homeschool association?

There must be a minimum of six eligible students at the school in order for the school to participate.

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6. What materials are included in the school contest material the school receives?

Downloadable materials include instructions for the School Bee Coordinator, contest questions, study tips for students and parents, the state Qualifying Test for the school winner, media relations material, and Bee merchandise information. The school will also receive certificates and a School Bee winner medal by mail.

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7. How can students prepare for participation in the National Geographic Bee?

See the Study Corner area of our website for geography activity ideas.

• Purchase National Geographic atlases and Bee study books from our online store.

Take the online GeoBee Quiz.

Download the GeoBee Challenge App.

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8. What is the timeline of the Bee competition?

Schools may register for the Nat Geo Bee starting on September 15, 2014, online.

• Starting on November 3, 2014, schools may download materials and hold their school Bee.

• Registration by check closes on December 15, 2014 to ensure enough time for processing and administration of the school Bee and qualifying test.

• The school champion must take the written qualifying test, which is administered and scored by the School Bee Coordinator.

• Qualifying test scores must be submitted through the website by February 6, 2015, 11:59PM EST.

• The top 100 ranked students in each state qualify to represent their school in the state Bee, held on March 27, 2015.

• The state champions attend the national championship in Washington, D.C., May 11-13, 2015.

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9. I notice my school is already registered for the Bee. How can I find out who my School Bee Coordinator is?

You will need to check with your school to find the current School Bee Coordinator.

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10. I’m a parent. May I register my son/daughter’s school?

No. Only school employees may register a school for the National Geographic Bee.

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11. How much does it cost to register for the National Geographic Bee?

The registration fee is $100.

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12.  What is an acceptable form of payment for a school to register for the National Geographic Bee?

Check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). Paying by credit card ensures a faster access to downloading Bee materials.

It can take up to three weeks to access materials after submitting a check; thus, we recommend if paying by check you register no later than January 1. Please keep in mind State Bee Qualifying Test scores will not be accepted after February 6 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

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13. Do you accept purchase orders?

No. Credit cards and checks are the only acceptable forms of payment.

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14. May I purchase a National Geographic Bee packet to use at the school-level only?

Yes, you may register and participate only in the school-level Bee.

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15. Can homeschools participate in the National Geographic Bee?

Homeschool groups and associations can register for the Bee under the following conditions:

The School Bee Coordinator for a homeschool group or association must not have any children participating in any National Geographic Bee. The homeschool Bee Coordinator must be the individual who conducts the school Bee, administers the Qualifying Test, and communicates with the National Geographic Society about the homeschool winner. There must be a minimum of six students (in grades four through eight) participating in the Bee. The homeschool must allow other homeschool students in their area to participate in their Bee. The students participating in a homeschool Bee must be registered as a homeschool student and can only participate in one homeschool Bee per calendar year. For the purposes of the National Geographic Bee, our staff may assign a name for the homeschool group that reflects the area in which it is located.

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16. How do homeschools register for the National Geographic Bee?

When registration opens in September, you can create a School Bee Coordinator account. Once the School Bee Coordinator submits the homeschool information, the Geo Bee staff will review it. Once approved, the homeschool Bee Coordinator will be able to complete the registration and payment process.

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17. I registered my school for the Bee online. Do I keep my same username and password each year?

No, you will need to create a new username and password each year.

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18. How and when will I be notified if our School Bee winner qualified for the State level?

Schools and parents will be notified by email if their student did or did not qualify for the State Bee.

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19. Am I required to use the School Bee materials exactly as outlined in the instructions, or can I adapt the materials to work for my school/students?

Schools are encouraged to use the materials in a way that is engaging and appropriate for the ages and skill level of their students, and may adjust the number of rounds or use of questions accordingly.

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20. What are the prizes for the winners who compete in the National Geographic Bee finals?

The winner receives a $50,000 scholarship, a lifetime subscription to National Geographic magazine, a Galápagos trip, and $500 cash.  The 2nd place winner receives a $25,000 scholarship and $500 cash.  The third place winner receives a $10,000 scholarship and $500 cash.  The 4th -10th place winners receive $500 cash each.

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21. My child is in the third grade, but very interested in geography. Can he/she participate in the National Geographic Bee?

No. The Bee is open only to students in grades four through eight who have not reached their 15th birthday on or before September 1, 2014. Students are eligible to compete in any level of the Bee for a period of five years only.

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22. I missed the registration deadline for the Nat Geo Bee. Can I still obtain materials to use in my school?

You can still purchase the school Bee materials, but your students cannot advance to the state Bee after registration has closed. Please email ngbee@ngs.org for more information.

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23. Is the National Geographic Society the sole vendor of the Nat Geo Bee?

The Nat Geo Bee is administered on a not-for-profit basis by the National Geographic Society and is the sole source for the school-level contest materials. The school Bee packets are generated by the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC, and are only available to schools/homeschool associations that have registered to participate in the National Geographic Bee.

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24. How do I get vendor information on the National Geographic Bee?

We do not complete vendor information forms. The federal tax identification number for the National Geographic Society is 53-0193519. Download a completed NGS W-9 form. You may use the information provided here to add the National Geographic Bee as a vendor in your system.

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25. How do I contact the National Geographic Bee?

You may email the Nat Geo Bee office at ngbee@ngs.org.

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