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About the Geochallenge

The GeoChallenge is an annual themed and standards-based competition from the National Geographic Society that challenges student groups in grades five through eight across the United States to develop a creative solution to a real-world problem. 

Students form teams—between four and six people—and respond to a problem, challenge, or critical issue by using research, collaboration, creativity, and communication to create and present real-world solutions, just like National Geographic Explorers. Teams with the best projects can advance to the regional and national levels.

Join us to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.

The 16 winning teams from the regional finals competed in the first ever national level of the GeoChallenge on May 19-22, 2019, at National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  

Watch the National Championship






The 2018–19 GeoChallenge—Tackling Plastic!—invited students to investigate the urgent issue of plastic pollution in our waterways.

Teams of students used important skills such as teamwork, research, innovation, critical thinking, and persuasive communication to work on this challenge while:

  • Learning about watersheds and plastics in our lives and communities

  • Telling a fact-based story about a plastics pollution problem and solution

  • Designing and creating a map that shows the plastic pollution problem

  • Creating a solution to prevent plastics from polluting our waterways

  • Producing a dynamic video about their solutions

Registration for the 2018-2019 GeoChallenge is now closed. Please check back in summer 2019 for the 2019-2020 GeoChallenge theme announcement and registration! 

Thank you to the thousands of teams that participated in this year’s GeoChallenge! First-place teams from the the sixteen regional competitions are heading to Washington, D.C., for the national finals May 19-22. Follow along at #NatGeoChallenge. 

Key Dates

September 15, 2018

Project submission website opens

January 15, 2019

Project submission deadline

March 29, 2019

GeoChallenge regional competitions 

May 19-22, 2019

GeoChallenge national finals in Washington, D.C.


Have a Question?

The National Geographic GeoChallenge team is here to help! Please submit your questions to