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97 students to compete in state geographic bee April 4 at WKU

Ninety-seven elementary and middle school students from around Kentucky will compete Friday (April 4) to represent the state at the 2014 National Geographic Bee in May.

The Kentucky competition will begin at 9 a.m. at WKU’s Knicely Conference Center. (More: List of Kentucky 2014 Geography Bee Qualifiers)

The 26th National Geographic Society event is sponsored by Google. At the state level, the Bee is also sponsored by Plum Creek.

Each state winner will receive $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals May 19-21 and the chance to be crowned the 26th Bee champion.

The winner of the national competition receives a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finishers receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively. Additionally, the national winner will travel (with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, to the Galápagos Islands to experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the wildlife and landscapes of the islands on an expedition aboard the National Geographic Endeavour. Travel for the Galápagos voyage is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

The top 10 national finalists for 2014 along with next year’s top 10 will be eligible for selection for the three-person team to represent the United States at the National Geographic World Championship in July 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden.

“The National Geographic Bee is just one of the many ways National Geographic is fulfilling its mission to inspire people to care about the planet,” National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary Knell said. “The Bee expands students’ knowledge of people, places and events around the world, and fosters a lifelong love of learning and exploration, turning today’s competitors into tomorrow’s leaders.”

Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering, Google Earth and Maps, said: “We’re proud to continue our sponsorship of the National Geographic Bee and to encourage the next generation of explorers and innovators. Maps are such an integral part of how we live and do business, and it’s important that we continue to invest in geographic literacy and education. The students who participate in the National Geographic Bee have demonstrated an impressive understanding of the world and its many wonders, and we are proud that young minds across the globe are using Google products to learn and collaborate. This competition demonstrates the power of technology to foster learning and inspire future generations, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it again this year.”

“The Geographic Bee is an outstanding program that provides students with a unique opportunity to better understand our world and the events happening around them,” said Bob Jirsa, president, Plum Creek Foundation. “Education is one of the focal points of our Plum Creek Foundation, so we’re pleased to continue our partnership with the National Geographic Society’s Geographic Bee program to sponsor state Bees across the United States.”

Contact: Scott Dobler, (270) 791-8452 or scott.dobler@wku.edu.

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