Update on the 2020–2021 National Geographic GeoBee
Like other organizations around the world, the National Geographic Society is continuing to monitor the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a special message about the 2020-2021 GeoBee from Chief Education Officer Vicki Phillips:
Dear GeoBee Community,
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in. And it’s changed education. We are experiencing a tremendous amount of disruption. Closed schools. Canceled events. Remote learning. Hybrid learning. Around the country, school districts at every level are grappling with how to safely carry out their charge, while navigating a web of public health guidelines. Anxiety is high. Many are overwhelmed. Superintendent of San Diego Public Schools Cindy Marten described this moment as, "the biggest adaptive challenge...in the history of public education."
We are seeing a similarly historic shift with the GeoBee. This year, registrations for the 2020-2021 competition are down 75 percent. We recognize this is a response to this moment in time, as educators, families and communities navigate the countless challenges in their lives. We’ve worked diligently to respond to the needs of our community, making adjustments to provide more flexibility. But the education landscape continues to evolve. In light of these shifts, we’ve decided to cancel this year’s GeoBee and are taking the opportunity to reimagine what a geography experience for young people could look like altogether.
We’ll take this time to talk to students, educators, and community members, and determine how to adapt and innovate in ways that engage even more young people around the power of geography. We’ll announce in the fall of 2021 what this geography opportunity will look like for 2022.
In the meantime, all schools that registered and paid for the 2020-2021 GeoBee will receive a full refund of the registration fee.
We are enormously proud of the impact that the National Geographic GeoBee has had on the millions of students, educators, parents, schools and others who’ve participated in this iconic competition over its 33-year history. But we believe, with difficult decisions, can come new levels of transformation, innovation and impact. We always have been and always will be about geography; it’s part of who we are. It’s why we invest significantly in geography education and it’s why we seek to empower young people with an explorer’s mindset. Today, the fight for geographic competency is critical because it’s uniquely suited to solving the challenges of the 21st century.
We hope you will continue to join us on the journey to empower a generation of learners, leaders, explorers and architects of meaningful change who share our passion for geography.
Chief Education Officer
National Geographic Society
Frequently Asked Questions
My school registered and paid the $100 registration fee. Will I be reimbursed? And when?
All schools that registered and paid for the 2020–2021 National Geographic GeoBee will receive a full refund of the registration fee. No additional follow-up is required to receive this refund and processing will be completed over the coming months.
Will the GeoBee happen next year?
In light of ongoing disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with an evolving education landscape, we’ve decided to cancel the 2020–2021 GeoBee and are taking the opportunity to reimagine what a geography experience for young people could look like altogether. We’ll announce in the fall of 2021 what this geography opportunity will look like for 2022.
I’m an educator. How can I continue to be involved with National Geographic?
Thank you for all that you do. Educators are integral to National Geographic’s mission. We encourage you to join our community @NatGeoEducation on Twitter and Facebook for ongoing opportunities to engage, learn and lead.
I’m a student. How can I continue to be involved with National Geographic?
We’re working to ensure that young people continue to have the knowledge, global understanding and skills to help solve our world’s most pressing problems. National Geographic offers other ways to connect with other students. We encourage you to join our global community of young people who are exploring connections, thinking critically, collaborating globally, and seeking solutions to help protect our planet. To find out more, sign up here. You can also follow @NatGeoEducation on Facebook and Twitter.
What other geography resources does National Geographic offer?
In addition to the GeoBee Study Toolkits, National Geographic offers many more geography resources:
Our Resource Library includes thousands of activities, videos, maps, infographics, and fun facts including our Geography Collection, Fun with Geography, Introduction to Human Geography, geography-themed Kahoot! quizzes and more. The materials are free and easy to implement.