Charlotte produces state GeoBee champ

Courtesy photo
Charlotte Central School sixth-grader Vega Tariyal is headed to the National Geographic GeoBee in Washington, D.C.

SCOOTER MACMILLAN
Staff Reporter

Every parent knows that their child is one in a million, but in May, Vega Tariyal’s parents might have the added thrill of knowing that their child is one in 2.5 million.

That’s because Vega is one of 54 state champions who will compete for the national title in the National Geographic GeoBee. And more than 2,529,000 students from nearly 10,000 schools across the United States, the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific territories and Department of Defense Schools compete in the contest.

Vega took the Vermont title in the National Geographic GeoBee at Southern Vermont College on March 29.

He’ll travel to the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 19-22 to compete for the national GeoBee title. His mother and father – and maybe a grandparent – will join him at the national competition, said his father, Ajat Tariyal.

Vega is a sixth-grader at Charlotte Central School a keen interest in geography.

The secret to his success?

“I like looking at maps,” Vega said.

The National Geographic GeoBee is an academic competition for students in grades four through eight that challenges student knowledge of geography, cultures, physical features, history and earth science.

As Vermont’s state champion, Vega also won a medal and $1,000 in addition to the trip to Washington for the national competition,

The national champion will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the ​National Geographic Endeavour ll. The second-place winner will receive a $10,000 college scholarship, and the student placing third will receive a $5,000 college scholarship.

His father said that Vega’s interest in geography may have come from his traveling at an early age. He grew up in London and experienced traveling through Europe early. They moved to Charlotte a couple of years ago.

Vega said his favorite place he’s traveled to so far is Namibia, where he got to go on a safari and camp out.

The question that Vega won the Vermont title with: What’s the body of water that Australian separates Tasmania and Victoria?

Answer: The Bass Strait.

A question that he missed: What city are the Beatles from? All together now – Liverpool!

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