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After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee and GeoChallenge competitions. This includes 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 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.



Sound familiar? The 2018–2019 GeoChallenge invited students to investigate the urgent issue of plastic pollution in our waterways, and last year's student teams developed a number of innovative ways to help us meet this challenge. But our work is not done. Plastic can take lifetimes to decompose, creating problems impacting us now and into the future. 

The plastic pollution problem is solvable, but only if we all take action now.

With Tackling Plastic!, students will use important skills such as teamwork, research, innovation, critical thinking, and persuasive communication as they

  • learn about watersheds and plastics in our lives and communities;

  • create a solution to prevent plastics from polluting our waterways;

  • communicate about the plastic pollution problem and their team’s solution;

  • design and create a map highlighting the problem and solution; and

  • produce a dynamic video about the team’s solution.

Congratulations to the teams who submitted their Tackling Plastic! solutions last year. 

Updates from the GeoChallenge


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