Knights of Columbus Geography Bee -- Information for Invited Schools

Invited schools will be asked to confirm that they will participate by January 25, 2024, and to send names and grade levels of a total of three nominees currently in fourth through eighth grade in the school, by February 8, 2024 or as soon as possible. The Knights will send their invitations c/o the school. Note that our invitations never suggest that they to do any preparation for the bee. They all attend excellent schools with thorough curricula, and we wouldn't presume to ask further work of them.

Some schools choose to alert students and determine whether they will be available before nominating them, while others let our invitation arrive as news to their nominees. Either way is fine. If unsure whether the nominees will be able to participate, schools are encouraged to name alternates along with the nominees, so that we may prepare additional invitations quickly in the case of a student being unable to make it to the bee.

Each school is welcome to select participants by any criterion it chooses. Some schools choose students based on:

For those planning to nominate based on a school bee, we recommend determining a top-5 or -6 ranking during the school bee, due to the possibility that some nominees have conflicts with one particular Saturday, necessitating alternates to complete the school's representation in the bee.

Our timetable is chosen to follow National Geographic school bees, as that is how some schools choose their nominees for our bee.

And of course the Knights welcome faculty, clergy, parents, etc. to come to the bee and cheer on the students!

Fourth through eighth grade?!?

Five grade levels in a single bracket is surprising to some. We followed National Geographic's lead, as it seems to work for them. On geography material at a contest level of difficulty, differentiation among students in these grade levels appears to be related more to student ability and passion for geography than to grade level. One school recently was represented solely by fourth-grade nominees who had defeated grades 5 through 8 in their school bee, and they held their own in our bee. Some younger participants in our bee seem to get a charge out of stretching up to reach the microphone left high by their older competition, and so far we haven't had any younger competitors seem very flustered. We gently welcome them each to take a practice question before the bee, so that, before it counts, they have a chance to get used to standing at a microphone in front of an audience and a panel of judges. Then when the bee starts, the first speaking round has somewhat easier questions, so that most participants enjoy the experience of getting at least one or two correct. The younger participants who ultimately get eliminated realize that they have more years ahead to try again. And three fifth-graders have won awards at our bee. So it seems to work for us too.