This year marks the 30th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee Championship, when fourth- through eighth-graders, ages 10 to 14, try to avoid elimination by answering questions on everything from world capitals to mountain chains to rivers, nuclear test sites and languages spoken among certain communities. This year, 54 students advanced from their school, National Geographic regional and state bees to compete for the top prize and $85,000 in scholarships. It's not easy to get there, past winners will tell you. Here's what they also probably want you to know about turning your world knowledge into a competitive skill.
For one, no one is born with such a vast and detailed knowledge of the world. Competitors study for their trophies, using guides provided by National Geographic, going through past questions and, in general, expanding their knowledge about, well, everything on Earth.