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Frequently Asked Questions

Can a whole class participate?

Yes, but the class must be divided into teams of four to six students. One teacher may act as the Coordinator and Coach for all the teams in the classroom.

Can students in different grade levels be on the same GeoChallenge team?

Yes, students in grades five through eight are eligible to be on the same GeoChallenge team.

Does the GeoChallenge align with curriculum standards?

Yes, this challenge is aligned with the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), including Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), as well as MS-ESS3-3, MS-LS2-5, and MS-ETS1-1.

What's the difference between a GeoChallenge Coordinator and a GeoChallenge Coach?

There is only one GeoChallenge Coordinator for a school, organization, or community group. This person registers on behalf of the school, organization, or community group and serves as the main point of contact for the GeoChallenge Coaches and teams. The GeoChallenge Coaches work more directly with the team(s) and can be a parent or volunteer. A Coordinator can also serve as a Coach.

Must the Coach be present at all team meetings?

No, but if the Coach cannot attend, the Coordinator must be present.

Can homeschool students or after-school groups participate?

Yes, homeschool and after-school-program students can participate as well as teams from volunteer-based community organizations such as the Girl Scouts. A homeschool association can sponsor a team and a parent or volunteer can register as a GeoChallenge Coordinator and register a team(s). Homeschool and community group teams must adhere to the same rules and requirements for team composition.

May a school/organization have more than one GeoChallenge Coordinator?

No, only one person, who must be a paid employee of the school or organization, may function as GeoChallenge Coordinator for the school/organization.

May a school/organization have more than one GeoChallenge Coach?

Yes, the GeoChallenge Coordinator may delegate coaching to more than one person, each with one or more teams.

Can a Coach support more than one team?

Yes, a Coach may support more than one team.

Do all student team members have to attend the same school?

No, team members may attend different schools, though all participating students must be in grades five through eight and live and go to school in the same state.

How much does this cost?

Good news! There is no fee for participating in the 2018-19 GeoChallenge.

Can I register now even if I don’t know all of the students’ and Coaches’ names yet?

Yes, as long as you share your unique confirmation code with your Coaches as they get started on the GeoChallenge.

What are the prizes for teams that compete in the National Geographic GeoChallenge?

The GeoChallenge competition has three levels this year.

Prizes are awarded at the regional and national levels. This year, National Geographic is hosting the first-ever GeoChallenge national finals and top teams have a chance to win support and guidance from National Geographic staff to implement their Tackling Plastic! solutions!

REGIONAL: From the projects submitted on January 15, 2019, qualifying teams will be invited to compete at one of 16 regional sites on March 29, 2019. At each regional site, a first-, second-, and third-place team will be named. The first-place team at each GeoChallenge regional competition site will receive a $1,000 cash prize and support for the team members and their coaches to travel to the national competition in Washington, D.C., in May 2019. The second-place team will be able to choose between a $300 gift to the team’s school/organization or a donation to a charitable organization related to their GeoChallenge project submission. The third-place team will similarly be able to choose between a $100 gift to their school/organization or a donation to a charitable organization related to their project submission. 

NATIONAL: First-place teams from the 16 regional competitions will advance to the national finals in Washington, D.C. A first-place, second-place, and third-place team will be awarded during national finals (May 19-23, 2019). The first-place team will receive a $25,000 team prize plus support and guidance from National Geographic staff to implement their GeoChallenge solution, and will bring home a trophy to their school. The second-place team will receive $10,000 to implement their GeoChallenge solution, and the third-place team will receive $5,000 to implement their GeoChallenge solution. 

Where are the GeoChallenge regional competitions?

Teams that qualify for regional competitions will be notified via email in mid-February, 2019. Geographic proximity will be a factor in deciding where qualifying teams compete. GeoChallenge regional competitions will be held in the following locations:

  • Arizona (Tucson)
  • California (Fresno)
  • Colorado (Denver)
  • Florida (Jacksonville)
  • Idaho (Rexburg)
  • Illinois (Normal)
  • Iowa (Cedar Falls)
  • Kansas (Abilene)
  • Massachusetts (Chicopee)
  • Minnesota (Minneapolis)
  • Mississippi (Oxford)
  • North Carolina (Charlotte)
  • Ohio (Columbus)
  • Pennsylvania (Harrisburg)
  • Texas (Bedford)
  • Washington (Des Moines)