The top ten finishers competing in the final round to be held at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 21. Photograph by Mark Thiessen
The preliminary round of the 26th annual National Geographic Bee was held Monday, May 19. The top ten finishers—from the field of 54 state-level winners who took part in the prelims—will compete in the final round to be held at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 21.
Tuvya Bergson-Michelson is a 13-year-old seventh grader at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, near San Francisco. He represented California at the 2011 and 2013 National Geographic Bees. He loves geography for the lens it provides on the world. He is vice president of his school’s student council.
Pranit Nanda is a 14-year-old eighth grader at Aurora Quest K-8 School in Aurora, east of Denver. He represented Colorado at the 2012 and 2013 National Geographic Bees. He’s a four-time winner of the President’s Award for Academic Excellence. He plays the violin and enjoys reading almanacs and atlases.
Ameya Mujumdar is an 11-year-old fifth grader at Turner Elementary School in Tampa. He plays chess and piano and enjoys video games, especially Minecraft. The best place he has been to is Agra, where he saw the Taj Mahal. He hopes to visit Antarctica to see penguins.
Ansel Ahabue is a 13-year-old eighth grader at Trickum Middle School in Lilburn, near Atlanta. His Academic Team will be taking part in the National Academic Championship later this month. His interests include geography, social studies, piano, and drawing. He’d like to visit his parents’ homeland, Nigeria.
Nicholas Rommel is a 12-year-old seventh grader at Diamond Middle School in Lexington, northwest of Boston. He is fluent in Russian and German. He enjoys hiking and biking. He has hiked to the top of Mount Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest point, and last summer he biked 27 miles on the Cape Cod Bikeway.
Kyle Yu is a 13-year-old eighth grader at Lee Burneson Middle School in Westlake, a suburb of Cleveland. He represented Ohio at the 2013 National Geographic Bee. He plays the clarinet and is on his school’s Academic Challenge team. He enjoys swimming, biking, and studying geography.
Max Levine is a 14-year-old eighth grader at Wheeler School in Providence. He represented Rhode Island at the 2012 National Geographic Bee. An avid downhill skier, he also enjoys playing tennis, playing the violin, and learning foreign languages including Mandarin. If he could be anyone else, it would be the U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Krish Patel is a 14-year-old eighth grader at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, northwest of Charleston. He represented South Carolina at the 2011, 2012, and 2013 National Geographic Bees. He’s captain of his Quiz Bowl team that has won two state championships. He loves playing and watching sports.
Akhil Rekulapelli is a 13-year-old eighth grader at Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, near Washington, D.C. He represented Virginia at the 2013 National Geographic Bee. He plays the clarinet in his school’s top band and is a first degree black belt in tae kwon do. He hopes to work for Doctors Without Borders.
Asha Jain is a 14-year-old eighth grader at Minocqua-Hazelhurst- Lake Tomahawk Elementary School in Minocqua, northwestern Wisconsin. She represented Wisconsin at the 2013 National Geographic Bee. She participated in the 2013 World Championship geography contest in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Fifty-four of the nation's brightest young geography whiz kids gathered in Washington, D.C., last spring to take part in the 26th annual National Geographic Bee.