National Geographic GeoBee and GeoChallenge Events Update

Our GeoBee and GeoChallenge communities have always inspired us with their ingenuity, curiosity, and dedication to these competitions. These communities were very much top of mind as we made the difficult choice to cancel this year’s competitions due to the national emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). 

The cancellations include the state-level GeoBee competitions and regional-level GeoChallenge competitions scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2020, as well as the GeoChampionships scheduled in May 2020 at National Geographic headquarters. 

Below is a statement from our fearless leader, Vicki Phillips, Executive Vice President and Chief Education Officer at the National Geographic Society:

Like other organizations around the world, the National Geographic Society is continuing to monitor the latest developments in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which includes evaluating all of our public-facing programs. After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s National Geographic GeoBee and GeoChallenge competitions. We believe it is critical to safeguard the health and safety of our GeoBee and GeoChallenge communities—and all those who take part in our events and experiences—by taking proactive steps to avoid any unnecessary health risks associated with group gatherings.

We are deeply saddened by this turn of events and did not make this decision lightly. We recognize the tremendous amount of time and effort that students, teachers, coordinators, administrators, parents and staff have poured into these competitions. We sincerely appreciate your patience as we’ve worked to adapt to this rapidly evolving public health crisis.

Our goal with the GeoBee and GeoChallenge is to provide competitions that inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. That will always remain the North Star for these competitions. Although we won’t be able to move forward with the next levels of the competition as originally intended, we are immensely proud of our GeoBee and GeoChallenge communities and the inspiration and ingenuity they showcase every day.

Thank you for your understanding and for your support.


Originally posted March 6, 2020:

Update from the National Geographic Society on the State GeoBee and Regional GeoChallenge in-person events: 

Due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus (COVID-19), the National Geographic Society has made the decision to cancel the in-person level of the State GeoBee and Regional GeoChallenge scheduled for March 27, 2020 in all locations and switch to an online/virtual format.

We are doing this out of an abundance of caution regarding COVID-19, and in order to prioritize the health and safety of everyone who attends our events. We are committed to ensuring that this year’s regional GeoChallenge qualifiers and State GeoBee qualifiers have a safe and fair opportunity to compete that is consistent across the country. In that spirit, the National Geographic Society will offer the opportunity for regional GeoChallenge qualifiers to be appraised virtually on March 27. State GeoBee qualifiers will be given the opportunity to take an online test on March 27 that is administered and proctored by the school GeoBee coordinator or another paid school employee.

More details will be forthcoming. 

Information about the GeoChallenge can be found at NatGeoEd.org/GeoChallenge

More information about the GeoBee will be posted at NatGeoBee.org

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