Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2012-03-29

Samford University will host 100 of the state's top geography students Friday, March 30, when they compete in the State Geographic Bee. The final round of competition will begin at 3 p.m. in Brock Forum, located in Dwight Beeson Hall.

The competitors, all in grades four through eight, represent schools in 25 Alabama counties.  Each qualified for the state event after winning contests in their schools and placing among the top 100 scorers in Alabama on a test administered by the National Geographic Society.

The winner of Friday's 2012 state competition at Samford will receive $100, "The Complete National Geographic" on DVD and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals May 22-24 and the chance to be crowned National Geographic Bee champion. First prize in the national competition is a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.

Sharon Christman, a teacher in Homewood City Schools, is coordinator of the state finals. WBRC Fox 6 anchor Rick Journey will emcee. This is the ninth year for the state competition to be hosted by Samford's geography department.

The 2011 state winner was Daniel Picard, then a sixth grade student at Berry Middle School in Hoover. He correctly answered "Iraq" to the question, "Basra, which is connected to the northwestern end of the Persian Gulf by the Shatt al Arab, is the principal port in what country?" to win a tie breaker in the championship round.