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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Geographic GeoBee?

The National Geographic GeoBee is a competition for public schools, private schools, and homeschools in the United States and its territories, as well as the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS).

 

Who can participate in the National Geographic GeoBee?

Registration is open to schools with students in grades four through eight (4-8). Participating students must not reach their 15th birthday before September 1, 2018. A student is eligible to participate in the GeoBee for a period of five years total. 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 these rules have not been followed.

 

How do schools register for the GeoBee?

Starting August 1, 2018, schools can register online.

Beginning August 1, 2018, any paid school employee can register their school for the National Geographic GeoBee online.

Any paid employee at a public or private school can register the school for the National Geographic GeoBee. In the case of homeschools, an individual affiliated with the homeschool group can register the school. In both cases, a school “GeoBee coordinator” must be identified, and that person cannot be a relative or guardian of a student participating in the National Geographic GeoBee at their school or any other school.

Registration information needed in order to officially register a school include the name, email address and position of the designated school GeoBee coordinator, school phone and fax number, the principal’s name and email address, and estimated number of years the school has participated in the National Geographic GeoBee. A username and password must be created on the registration site so that the school GeoBee coordinator can return to the site to download materials and administer the qualifying test to the school champion.

The National Geographic GeoBee registration fee is $120 per school. Checks and credit cards are accepted on the registration site through December 21, 2018; after December 21, 2018, only credit cards will be accepted through the remainder of registration, ending on January 25, 2019. The system will generate a printable invoice for schools paying by check to remit with their payment. Purchase orders are not accepted as payment for the National Geographic GeoBee, and registration is not complete until the check has been received. Registering by credit card ensures faster access to the downloadable materials. School competition materials are ready for download beginning October 1, 2018 for all schools who have completed the registration process, including receipt and processing of payment. School GeoBee coordinators who have registered prior to October 1 and will receive an email notifying them that materials are available.

Schools needing financial support can complete a Registration Discount Request.

 

How can my child be registered for the GeoBee?

Individual students may not register. Only schools can register for the National Geographic GeoBee, and then eligible students at the registered school may participate.

 

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, no exceptions.

 

What materials are included in the registration fee (by download vs. in the mail)?

Downloadable materials include instructions for the school GeoBee coordinator, the official contest questions, study resources for students and parents, instructions and a link to the state Qualifying Test for the school champion, and media relations material. Please note: the GeoBee packet of questions is no longer mailed to schools. On October 1, 2018, or once payment is processed thereafter, school GeoBee coordinators can sign in to the Registration and Resource Center (note: coordinator's password is case-sensitive) to download materials.

By mail, the school GeoBee coordinator will receive a certificate and a school GeoBee champion medal. These items will be mailed to all registered and paid schools shortly after registration is complete.

 

How can students prepare for participation in the National Geographic GeoBee?

 

Does my child need a coach to participate in the National Geographic GeoBee?

Students do not need a coach to participate in the National Geographic GeoBee, and the National Geographic Society does not encourage or endorse “coaching for hire.” Many free and low-cost resources are available for students to study, including our online GeoBee Quiz, the GeoBee Challenge app for iOS and Android devices, GeoBee Kahoots, Amazon Alexa skill, Google Home action, and the book How to Ace the National Geographic Bee, Official Study Guide, 5th Edition.

 

What is the timeline of the GeoBee competition?

Schools may register for the National Geographic GeoBee online starting on August 1, 2018.

  • Starting on October 1, 2018, schools may download materials and hold their school GeoBee.

  • Registration by check closes on December 21, 2018, to ensure enough time for processing and administration of the school GeoBee and qualifying test. On or after December 22, 2018, only credit card payments are accepted.

  • The school champion must take the online qualifying test, which is proctored by the school GeoBee coordinator, by February 1, 2019, 11:59 PM EST.

  • The top 100 ranked students in each state qualify to represent their school in the state GeoBee, held on March 29, 2019.

  • The designated state champions attend the national championship in Washington, D.C. May 19-22, 2019.

 

I notice my school is already registered for the GeoBee. How can I find out who my school GeoBee coordinator is?

You will need to check with your school to find the current school GeoBee coordinator.

 

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

No. Only paid school employees may register a school for the National Geographic GeoBee, and then your child, if eligible, will participate through the school. However, parents can certainly assist the school in organizing the school for the GeoBee, and help students study for the competition. PTAs and PTO groups can also pay the school’s GeoBee registration fee.

 

How much does it cost to register for the National Geographic GeoBee?

The registration fee is $120 per school.

 

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

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

It can take up to three weeks to access materials after submitting a check; thus, registration by check closes on December 21, 2018. Please keep in mind that State GeoBee Qualifying Test scores will not be accepted after February 1, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST. If paying by check, please mail your check to:

National Geographic
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
PO Box 417123
Boston, MA 02241-7123

 

Do you accept purchase orders?

No. Credit cards and checks are the only acceptable forms of payment. If your school needs to create a PO prior to generating a check, that is acceptable, but GeoBee materials will not be available until we receive and process the check.

 

Can I request a registration discount based on financial need?

Yes, a Registration Discount Request Form is available here.

 

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

Yes, your school may register and then only participate in the school level GeoBee. However, there is no reduction in cost.

 

Can homeschools participate in the National Geographic GeoBee?

Yes. Please visit Homeschool Rules for details.

Homeschool groups and associations can register for the National Geographic GeoBee under the following conditions:

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

 

How do homeschools register for the National Geographic GeoBee?

When registering for the first time, a homeschool representative can create a school GeoBee coordinator account here. Once the school GeoBee coordinator submits the homeschool information, the National Geographic GeoBee staff will review it. Once approved, the homeschool GeoBee coordinator will be able to complete the registration and payment process. If a homeschool was registered in 2018 the school name will still be in our system. When you register for 2019, select the school zip code used last year, then proceed to register the homeschool again for this year. If it is the same homeschool as last year, but the school has a new address; register under the old address and email us at ngbee@ngs.org so we can update the address in our database.

 

I registered my school for the National Geographic GeoBee online. Do I keep my same username and password each year?

No. The school GeoBee coordinator will need to create a new account and password each year for the GeoBee coordinator. Locate your school by zip code, then proceed to create an account with your email and password for this year. Please note that passwords are case sensitive.

 

Why is the GeoBee registration website not loading or not appearing correctly in my browser?

The National Geographic GeoBee registration website supports the most recent version of the following browsers: Chrome, Safari, IE (Internet Explorer), and Firefox. If you are experiencing issues, please make sure that you are using the most recent version of the supported browsers.

You might also try with a different computer, possibly outside the school, as it is also possible that your school firewall won't allow you to connect to our website or to the registration page. If that is the problem, you may need to contact your network administrator.

 

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

A list of qualified students will be posted on each state National Geographic GeoBee website by March 4, 2019. Please check the list to see if your student qualified. We will NOT email schools individually.

 

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

There are many ways to conduct your school GeoBee! Feel free to get creative, or simply follow the suggested instructions in the school GeoBee contest materials. Some ideas include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct an oral competition in each classroom, determine each classroom’s winner (or top two if you have less than 10 classrooms!), and then hold a final competition with up to 10 students.

  • For a smaller group of students, conduct an oral competition for the preliminary and final rounds at the same time. Remember the final round can only have up to 10 students!

  • Conduct a written preliminary competition using the written test provided in this year’s school GeoBee materials, and hold an oral final round competition with up to 10 students.

  • You may adjust the number of rounds or specific questions used to make the competition engaging and appropriate for the ages and skill level of your students.

 

What are the prizes for the winners who compete in the National Geographic GeoBee National Championship in Washington, D.C.?

School champions receive a medal and a certificate. Students who advance to the state and national competitions will be competing for cash prizes and college scholarships.

 

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

No. The GeoBee is open only to students in grades four through eight (4-8) who have not reached their 15th birthday on or before September 1, 2018. Students are eligible to compete in any level of the GeoBee for a period of five years only.

 

My child is interested in participating in the National Geographic GeoBee but his/her school is not registered for the GeoBee. Can my child participate with another school in the area?

No. Students can only participate with the school they are enrolled in. Unfortunately, if a child's school doesn't register for the GeoBee, he/she cannot compete.

 

I missed the registration deadline for the National Geographic GeoBee. Can I still obtain materials to use in my school?

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

 

Is the National Geographic Society the sole vendor of the National Geographic GeoBee?

The National Geographic GeoBee 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 GeoBee packets are generated by the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. and are only available to schools/homeschool associations that have registered to participate in the National Geographic GeoBee.

 

How do I get vendor information on the National Geographic GeoBee?

We do not complete vendor information forms. The federal tax identification number for the National Geographic Society is 53-0193519. You may request a copy of the NGS W9 by emailing ngbee@ngs.org.

 

How do I contact the National Geographic GeoBee?

You may email the National Geographic GeoBee office at ngbee@ngs.org. The fax number is 202-862-8633.