Cross-posted from the Google Lat Long Blog

Congratulations to 8th grader Rahul Nagvekar, who was just named the 2012 National Geographic Bee champion! Rahul is 14 years old and from Missouri City, Texas. It’s a good thing he has a passion for traveling, as this year’s winner receives a trip to the Galapagos Islands, in addition to a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society and a $25,000 college scholarship. To get here today, Rahul has answered more than 300 geography-related questions since the Bee started at Quail Valley Middle School last fall.


This year, over four million students around the United States participated in the National Geographic Bee. Participants in the qualifying rounds were asked a variety of questions, ranging from locations of carnivorous plants, spider monkeys, natural disasters, soil types, language dialects, labor reforms, and glaciers. Participants must have a vast amount of knowledge in order to successfully answer questions on such diverse topics.

Physical, human, and cultural geography encompasses much of what takes place on our planet. These nine to fourteen year olds have a wealth of knowledge about the world that extends way beyond their years. The last question of this year’s final was: “Name the Bavarian City on the Danube River that was the legislative seat for the Holy Roman Empire from 1663-1806.” The winning answer is, of course, Regensburg, in Bavaria, Germany.

Google is once again proud to sponsor the National Geographic Bee. This contest highlights the importance of being geographically literate, a skill that is vital for all students. We are all explorers and must invest in understanding the world around us. Technology, like Google Earth, allows us to virtually visit any place on the planet so we can make those connections between people and their environment.

You can watch the 2012 National Geographic Bee tonight, Thursday, May 24th at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. It will also air later on public broadcasting stations.


Congratulations to Rahul and all of the other state finalists!