news releases

2005.03.28 > For Immediate Release
contact: Beverly Newsam - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2358 - email: bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO to Host State Geographic Bee April 1

Omaha - One hundred of Nebraska's best and brightest students will converge upon the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Friday, April 1, to compete in the annual Nebraska State Geographic Bee.  A cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the national finals in Washington, D.C., will be awarded to the champion.

Registration will be held from noon to 1 p.m.  Preliminary rounds will start at 1:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center, and the final round will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The bee, conducted by the National Geographic Society (NGS), is a nationwide event with participants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools.  It was developed in 1989 in response to a concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.

"As events such as the recent tsunami remind us, we are part of a larger world, and understanding geography and the impact of global happenings is essential to being responsible, informed citizens," said John Fahey, president of the NGS. 

Those taking part in the UNO state bee competition include Nebraska students in grades four through eight who won their respective school bees and earned top scores on a written exam prepared by the NGS.  The state bee is the third level of the national competition, which began last fall with competitions in thousands of schools nationwide.

"The contests raise an awareness of the importance of the study of geography, besides being a lot of fun for all who participate," said Chuck Gildersleeve, state bee coordinator and a professor of geography/geology at UNO.  "All questions are grounded in national geography standards, so students will be ready for state assessments in geography in the future."

Thomas Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs at UNO, will moderate the event.

Judges will include Randy Bertolas, a professor of geography at Wayne State College; Kathleen Fimple, Nebraska State Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education; Jeffrey Peake, an associate professor of geography/geology at UNO; Michael Peterson, a professor of geography/geology at UNO; and Larry Starr, director of social science education for the Nebraska State Department of Education.

The awards ceremony at UNO is scheduled for 4:45 p.m.  First-, second- and third-place winners will each receive a cash prize, in addition to a Discover Globe from the NGS.  The first-place winner also will receive a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals.  All contestants will receive an honors certificate and a T-shirt.

For more information, contact Gildersleeve at (402) 554-4803 or University Affairs at (402) 554-2358.

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