Indian American Whiz Kid Samvrit Rao Crowned U.S. Champion of International Geography Bee in Junior Varsity DivisionTop Stories

May 15, 2019 18:34
Indian American Whiz Kid Samvrit Rao Crowned U.S. Champion of International Geography Bee in Junior Varsity Division

(Image source from: The American Bazaar)

An Indian American child prodigy Samvrit Rao from Virginia has been crowned the national champion in the Junior Varsity Division of the International Geography Bee (IGB), United States edition.

The 11-year-old Samvrit outdid 99 students, 41 percent of Indian origin, to win the 2019 trophy.

Samvrit, a sixth grader at the Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, holds the distinction of being the youngest champion to date in the junior varsity division. He was awarded a trophy and a scholarship to offset travel expenses for competing in the second IGB World Championships scheduled to be held in July 2020.

Samvrit practiced for the national championship online through the Protobowl application which features the pyramidal-style questions that progress from more obscure to familiar information. He also asked his parents - Dr. Vasudev and Shwetha Rao - to compete with him online which further prepared him for the arduous five-and-a-half hour event.

In 2015, he placed in the Top Ten of the United States Geography Olympiad finals held in Louisville, Kentucky. Samvrit who was in second grade at the time was the youngest among the top ten while all other students were in fifth and sixth grades.

He has also developed a keen interest in science participating in the Science Olympiad and eCybermission competitions and hopes to be more actively involved in hands-on projects.

The IGB is a worldwide geography quiz for primary and secondary school students currently offered in five regions: Asia, Australia and New Zealand; Canada, Europe, and the USA. The regional championships are held annually and the world championships biennially.

The U.S. edition of the IGB, organized by International Academic Competitions, is split into four age-based divisions: Varsity; Junior Varsity, Middle School and Elementary. Students born before July 1, 2003, can compete in the Varsity Division while all younger students, regardless of grade, can compete at the Junior Varsity level.

By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian American  United States  Virginia