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2007.03.26 > For Immediate Release
contact: Beverly Newsam - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2129 - e-mail: bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO to Host State Geographic Bee March 30

Omaha - More than 100 students will gather at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Friday, March 30, to celebrate geography and compete for prizes at the annual State Geographic Bee. The champion will receive a cash prize and a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals May 23.

Registration will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Preliminary rounds will start at 2:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center, and the final round will begin at approximately 5 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

Awards will be presented at a ceremony set for 6 to 6:15 p.m. First-, second- and third-place winners will each receive a cash prize, in addition to a Discover Globe from the NGS. All contestants will receive an honors certificate and a T-shirt.

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.

"A sound knowledge of geography is essential for understanding global events and their impact on the rest of the world," 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 bee is an opportunity for students to exercise their geography knowledge in a competitive, yet fun environment," said Chuck Gildersleeve, state bee coordinator and a professor of geography/geology at UNO. For the past 19 years, Gildersleeve has served as state coordinator, and the bee has been held at UNO.

"Eleven thousand fourth through eighth graders began this competition in Nebraska, and the State Bee represents the top 100 of these very bright students for a chance for one of them to go to Washington, D.C., in late May to compete for a $25,000 prize," he said. "The winning student and his or her teacher will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C."

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.

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

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