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posted: 3/31/2014 7:43 AM

Local Student Named Illinois State Geographic Bee Semifinalist By National Geographic Society

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  • Shaan Thakkar winning medal at local Geography Bee

    Shaan Thakkar winning medal at local Geography Bee


By National Geographic Society

Student's Name: Shaan Thakkar

Parents' Names: Kal & Neepa Thakkar

School Name and Address: Hellen Keller Jr High

Grade Level: 7

The above-named student has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2014 Illinois State Geographic Bee, sponsored by Google and Plum Creek. This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 26th year. Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school's Bee winner. School-level winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society invited the students with the top 100 scores in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete at the state level.

The 2014 Illinois State Geographic Bee will be held at College of DuPage on Friday, April 4, 2014.

The state winner will receive $100, the "Complete National Geographic on DVD" and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Illinois in the National Geographic Bee finals to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19-21, 2014. The national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the Society. The national winner will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, to the Galápagos Islands, where he/she will experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the islands' unique wildlife and landscapes. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Visit for more information on the National Geographic Bee.

National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round of the 2014 National Geographic Bee, moderated by new host Soledad O'Brien, on Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m. ET (to be followed on public television stations). Check local television listings for date and time in your area.


How would you fare as a Bee contestant? At the school-level Bee this year, students had to answer such questions as:

From its source in Minnesota, the Mississippi River flows south about 2,300 miles before emptying into what large gulf?

Gulf of Mexico

A subspecies of brown bear known as the Kodiak bear takes its common name from an island that lies off the southern coast of what state?


The Danakil Depression, located in part of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the lowest points on which continent?


What is the term for the triangular deposit of sediment sometimes found at the mouth of a river -- moraine or delta?



Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For

more information, visit



Downloaded by over a billion people around the globe, Google Earth continues to mesmerize students by placing the world's geographic information on their computer and at their fingertips. Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on the planet to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, Street View, historical imagery and more! At Google, we believe that geography education is more critical than ever as the world becomes a smaller place. Google is excited to sponsor the 2014 National Geographic Bee.

Plum Creek

Plum Creek is the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation with approximately 6.4 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest.