Virginia middle-schooler wins National Geographic Bee
By Tom Ramstack
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Virginia middle-school student won the 2014 National Geographic Bee on Wednesday by identifying Equatorial Guinea as the country planning to build a new capital in the rain forest east of Bata.
Winner Akhil Rekulapelli, 13, of Ashburn, Virginia, beat out final-round rival Ameya Mujumdar, 11, of Tampa, Florida, who answered "Tanzania."
He bested nine other young whizzes in history, landmarks, cultures and climates in the finals to win a $50,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, among other prizes.
"Right now this is probably the biggest accomplishment I will achieve in probably 20 or 30 years," Rekulapelli, who also holds a tae kwon do black belt and plays first clarinet in the school band, said after his win.
The eighth-grader emerged from a field of 54 contestants to win the two-day bee at the National Geographic Society, moderated by television journalist Soledad O'Brien.
For the second-place finish, Mujumdar received a $25,000 scholarship. And Tuvya Bergson-Michelson, 13, of Hillsborough, California, won a $10,000 scholarship for finishing third.
With the other contestants eliminated, Mujumdar and Rekulapelli went head-to-head in a series of challenges.
Among them, both correctly answered "Argentina" to the question: "The discovery of a major shale oil deposit in the Vaca Muerta formation in 2010 has led to an expansion of oil drilling in the Nequen Province of what country?" Continued...