Hoover’s Worldly Learner
Written By Emily Sparacino
Photo By Mark Thiessen, National Geographic
A Hoover student finished in this year’s National Geographic Bee as the third-place winner and recipient of a $10,000 college scholarship on May 25.
Twelve-year-old Kapil Nathan, a sixth-grader at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School, was among 54 state and territory winners who competed in the preliminary rounds of the 28th annual National Geographic Bee on May 23. Nathan finished in the Top 10 and advanced to the final round held May 25 at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to Nationalgeographic.com.
Nathan was also a Top 10 finisher and recipient of $500 in the 2015 National Geographic Bee when he was a fifth-grader at Mt Laurel Elementary School.
Rishi Nair of Seffner, Fla., took first place in this year’s National Geographic Bee. As the champion, Nair, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Williams Magnet Middle School, received a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.
Nair also received an all-expenses-paid spot on an eight-day Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic adventure to Southeast Alaska aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion with a stop at Glacier Bay National Park for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
Nair gave the correct answer of “Galápagos Islands” to the following question to win: “A new marine sanctuary will protect sharks and other wildlife around Isla Wolf in which archipelago in the Pacific Ocean?”
Saketh Jonnalagadda of Westford, Mass., a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Stony Brook Middle School, placed second and received a $25,000 college scholarship.
Journalist and humorist Mo Rocca moderated the final round of the competition.
The 2016 National Geographic Bee included nearly 3 million students in 11,000 schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Atlantic and Pacific territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools.
Along with Nathan, Nair and Jonnalagadda, the other seven finalists, who each received $500, were Grace Rembert, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Bozeman, Mont.; Rishi Kumar, a 10-year-old fifth-grader from Ellicott City, Md.; Pranay Varada, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Irving, Texas; Lucas Eggers, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Rochester, Minn.; Samanyu Dixit, a 12-year-old sixth-grader from Matthews, N.C.; Thomas Wright, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Mequon, Wis.; and Ashwin Sivakumar, an 11-year-old sixth-grader from Beaverton, Ore.
The annual competition is open to students ranging in age from 10 to 14 in fourth through eighth grades.
Nathan won the 2015 State Geography Bee at Samford University in March after winning Mt Laurel Elementary’s first Geography Bee.
Nathan was among 102 competitors at the state Bee and won by correctly answering the question “Which country includes the islands of Melville, Mornington and Bathurst?” His answer was “Australia.”
As a state champion, he received $100, the “National Geographic Atlas of the World, 10th Edition” and a medal.
Nathan is the son of Archana Subramanian and Vaidyanathan Sahasranaman Venganullur.