National Geographic cancels popular geography bee because of equity

The venerable geography contest GeoBee is now a thing of the past. National Geographic, which has sponsored the event for more than 30 years, has decided to “permanently discontinue” the bees, citing issues with fair participation.

According to the outlet websitethe National Geographic Society has decided to cancel the competition after 33 years “in order to create new, innovative and innovative opportunities for geography education that are more equitable for students around the world”. It is unclear when the decision was made.

The last GeoBee was held in 2019. GeoBee was suspended in 2020-2021 during the government shutdown due to COVID-19. National Geographic argued that the COVID-caused suspension gave NGS members an opportunity to “completely” rethink geography education. With GeoBee not returning, the reimagined curriculum apparently did not include competition.

Critics of Bees’ cancellation suggest the move may have been racially or ethnically motivated, as young men of Asian descent appeared to dominate the competition for more than a decade National Geographic’s new emphasis on helping students “participate more equitably” only furthers such claims.

Additionally, National Geographic attempted to shift focus from friendly American competition to global action. The outlet claimed it wanted to establish a new generation of “solution-seekers” around the world who could “confront the most pressing challenges of this century,” including COVID-19 and “racial injustice.” National Geographic alluded to environmental activism and perhaps so-called climate change when it claimed that such “solution seekers” could ultimately “help protect our planet.” rice field.

GeoBee was first launched in 1989 and quickly became a popular niche competition thanks to late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who hosted Bee as well until 2014. In 2012, President Barack Obama We presented one of the questions among the bees and also discussed the importance of geographical knowledge.

The bee competition was fierce, requiring participants to memorize esoteric information found in encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, and other resources. Nihar Janga, his eighth-grader from Texas, said in his 2019 contest hosted by comedian Mo Rocca, “Which plateau is a third of Norway’s northernmost counties located on?” Is it?” and became the last GeoBee winner. Her sixth grader Atreya Mallanna, from runner-up Massachusetts, answered her question incorrectly.

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