Indian-American students continued their dominance at the prestigious national bee competitions with seven out of 10 finalists vying for this year’s National Geographic Bee championship hailing from the community.
The final round of the National Geographic Bee will be held on Wednesday in Washington at the National Geographic Society and will judge the candidates on their knowledge of geography.
Ten students, from a field of 54 state-level champions who took part in the preliminary rounds, made it to the final round, and of these seven are Indian-Americans.
The finalists are Pranay Varada of Texas, Saketh Jonnalagadda of Massachusetts, Lucas Eggers of Minnesota, Grace Rembert of Montana, Thomas Wright of Wisconsin, Ashwin Sivakumar of Oregon, Kapil Nathan of Alabama, Rishi Nair of Florida, Rishi Kumar of Maryland and Samanyu Dixit of North Carolina.
The preliminary round of the 28th annual National Geographic Bee contest was held on Monday. The 10 finalists will compete for the title which includes $ 50,000 in college scholarship and lifetime membership of the National Geographic Society among other rewards. Second and third-place winners will receive $ 25,000 and $ 10,000 college scholarships respectively.
Indian-American students have consistently performed exceptionally well at various bee competitions over the years.
Last year, 14-year-old Karan Menon of New Jersey had won the National Geographic Bee competition. The first runner-up also an Indian-American, Shriya Yarlagadda, 11, of Michigan.
Same as this year, seven out of the 10 finalists in last year’s geographic bee competition were of Indian-origin.
The spelling bee competition has produced Indian-American champions for eight consecutive years, and 13 of the past 17, a run that began in 1999.
Last year, Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam were declared co-champions in the annual National Spelling Bee contest, a feat achieved by Indian-Americans for the second consecutive year.
In 2014, Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe were declared joint winners.