Genoan state's top geography student

Two years ago Bart Niday was second in Nevada's National Geographic Bee but this year the Carson Valley Middle School eighth-grade student is tops in the state.

Bart was one of eight students who won in individual Douglas County school geography contests to qualify for the state bee in Las Vegas on March 30. He was the best of the nearly 100 fourth- to eighth-grade students who qualified throughout the state.

He said he didn't remember the exact wording, but Bart, 14, won the state bee by answering a question about the name of the country where the Altamira Upper Paleolithic cave paintings are located - in Spain.

"I read geography stuff in my spare time and I'm going to be reading more geography stuff," Bart said about how he will prepare for the final geography bee.

Bart's sister Kate Niday, 10, said she helped him study for the geography bee by asking him questions on the way to Las Vegas.

"I think it was kind of lucky he won this year because this was his last year he could enter," Kate said.

Bart won a National Geographic globe, an atlas, a 2007 World Almanac, $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Geographic Bee finals in Washington, D.C., on May 22-23. About 100 students from the each of the 50 states, District of Columbia and U.S. territories will compete for a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.

The state bees are the second level of the annual National Geographic Bee. The first level began November with contests in more than 14,000 U.S. schools, where nearly 5 million students participated.

The championship round of the National Geographic Bee, moderated by "Jeopardy!" quiz show host Alex Trebek for the 19th year, will be held at National Geographic's Washington, D.C., headquarters May 23, and will air nationally on the National Geographic Channel. Produced by National Geographic Television, the finals also will be broadcast later on public television stations. Check local listings for viewing dates and times.

The National Geographic Society developed the National Geographic Bee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. The problem is not yet resolved. A National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study showed that Americans age 18 to 24 still have limited understanding of the world within and beyond our country's borders. Even after Hurricane Katrina, one-third could not locate Louisiana, and almost half could not locate Mississippi on a U.S. map. Only four out of 10 were able to find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.

Actual geography bee questions are featured in National Geographic's GeoBee quiz at

Which state is not located on the Ring of Fire - Oregon, Pennsylvania or Washington? Answer: Pennsylvania

Which country lies between Norway and Finland? Answer: Sweden

A glacier-capped peak near the equator in East Africa shares its name with the country that is known for its game parks and coffee production. Answer: Mount Kenya

Sandstone is an example of a type of rock made of particles from pre-existing rocks that have cemented together. Answer: sedimentary rock

Last year's winning geography bee question was: Name the mountains that extend across much of Wales, from the Irish Sea to the Bristol Channel. Answer: Cambrian Mountains


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