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Test Your Geography

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Question: Meave Leakey's recent fossil discoveries have been made near Lake Turkana. This lake extends from Kenya into which other country?

Answer: Ethiopia.

Today in our nation’s capital is the National Geography Bee. It seems there is more to know about geography than the quickest way to the airport from Studio City. How did you do on the question above? If you were stumped, you’re not alone – seven of ten finalists in 2003 missed it. How is the Bee conducted? Thousands of questions are produced a year ahead of time and then a team of researchers check them for accuracy. Over 5 million students participate in Bees from 15,000 schools across the country, but only 55 students make it to the Washington, D.C. finals. Every two years top students are chosen to compete in the National Geographic World Championship.

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Last year’s winner was a home-schooled seventh grader from Minnesota (why isn’t there a Spellbound for geography competitions?) whose prizes included a $25,000 scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. His winning question?

Question: Lake Gatún, an artificial lake that constitutes part of the Panama Canal system, was created by damming which river?”

Answer: Chagres River.

Think you’re up for a few quizzes to test your geography? Try visiting National Geographic’s site, or here. And don’t worry if you end up stumped, 15 minutes of fame have not been created for fans of geography…yet.