The USA Division of the International Geography Bee was founded in 2016 to give primary and secondary students in the USA a chance to compete at the regional, national, and global levels in a new academic competition testing comprehensive knowledge of world geography. The IGB’s USA Division complements other divisions around the world, so that students can be a part of a community of young scholars who are all striving to improve their knowledge of the world and its peoples and cultures. The International Geography Bee is meant to be fair (through the use of well-constructed questions that all students play on simultaneously), exciting (through buzzer-based play at the national and global levels), accessible (by allowing students to qualify for the National Championships at their own school / homeschool place of study if needed, affordable entry fees, and subsidies for the top students to attend the IGB World Championships), and relevant (through questions that show how and why geography matters in at the local, national, and global levels).
Our hope is that through the creation of a new worldwide geography competition, students in the USA will further their knowledge of geography in an enjoyable way, and make friends with like-minded students from around their national and their world.
From an organizational standpoint, the International Geography Bee is part of the International Academic Competitions family (which also oversees the US Geography Championships and the International History Olympiad, which the IGB World Championships are held in conjunction with) at the World Championships level.
The International Geography Bee’s USA Division was founded and is overseen by David Madden (Burlington, VT), who also writes the National Qualifying Exams; Enrico Contolini (Lakewood, CO) who assists with statistics and social media, while a team of experienced writers provides the questions for the National Championships. We have no institutional affiliation, and we have no connection with the National Geographic Society or the National Geographic Bee.
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