11-Year Old Sixth-Grader Wins National Geographic Bee
Akshay, who was the youngest of the ten finalists, won with a perfect score - that is he did not get even one question wrong in the entire two days of the finals - only the second time that's happened in the 20-year history of the competition.
The urban area of Cochabamba has been in the news in recent years due to protests over the privatization of the municipal water supply and regional autonomy issues. Cochabamba is the third largest conurbation in what country?
The correct answer as you can see in the picture above, was Bolivia. However to answer that you had to know that 'conurbation' meant - in case you don't know like we didn't - a conurbation is an urban area comprising of a number of cities, that have merged to form one continuous urban area! While most of the country was probably stumped, 11-year Akshay didn't seem to even blink an eyelid as he answered the question!
Akshay, who has been fascinated with geography since he was five, spent the last six months studying geography textbooks and DVD's, to prepare for the competition. His efforts paid off with a $25,000 scholarship and a lifetime subscription to the National Geographic Society.
Second-place winner, Hunter Bledsoe from Alabama, received a scholarship of $15,000 U.S. Dollars, while third-place winner William Lee from Massachusetts, received a $10,000 U.S. Dollar scholarship. All three will be eligible to try out for team U.S.A., at the biennial (once every two years) National Geographic World Championships in 2009.
The National Geographic Bee was started in 1989 to address the concern that young Americans did not know enough about the world around them. Over the years, it has become extremely popular. The competition, open to middle schoolers under 16, starts at the individual school level. The winner from each school then takes a test. The top 100 test scorers compete for one winner in each State. The winners of each State then get to go for the preliminary rounds, from which the top ten finalists are picked. These ten then battle it out on a live television broadcast for the overall championship.
Test your geography knowledge by going to www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/ for a quiz that is updated daily by the folks at National Geographic.