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Louisville student wins geography bee

One hundred of Kentucky’s most geographically aware fourth- through eighth-graders competed for the state championship of the annual National Geographic Bee April 1 at WKU’s South Campus.

Nivedita Khandkar, an eighth-grader at Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville, became the Kentucky State Champion after stiff competition in the final rounds from runners-up Christopher Evan Clark, a sixth-grader from College View Middle School in Owensboro, and Nolan Scott Calhoun, a seventh-grader from Grant County Middle School in Williamstown.

Khandkar received a monetary award and a CD set that contained every National Geographic Magazine since its first issue in the late 1800s. She also won an expenses-paid trip to the national competition in Washington, D.C., in May.

Students were tested on a range of geographic subjects, from capitals to culture, and landforms to the environment. The National Geographic Bee website provides details of the annual competition, along with a daily quiz with questions similar to the ones asked in the competition.

The winning question identified the Congo River as the second longest African river that flows past Kinshasa before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.

Dr. David Keeling, head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Every year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. State-level championship rounds are held on the first Friday of April.

“The contest is designed to promote geographic awareness of the world around us,” Dr. Keeling said. “Moreover, the contest serves as an important recruitment tool for WKU and lets students and parents know that WKU has nationally recognized programs in the geosciences.”

Geography Bee Coordinator Kate Greer Fischer said the contests occur in three stages. The winners at each school take a written test. The top 100 scorers in each state and territory compete at the state level. The 55 state and territory winners will meet at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., for the national competition.

Contact: Scott Dobler, (270) 745-7078.

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