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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Indian-American 7th grader Nilai Sarda takes 2nd place in Geographic Bee

Indian-American 7th grader Nilai Sarda takes 2nd place in Geographic Bee

ATLANTA -- An Indian-American 7th grade student at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta has finished second in the 2011 National Geographic Bee.

Nilai Sarda, 11, took home a $15,000 prize in the May 25 competition.

Nilai is a member of Westminster's Quiz Bowl team, which recently placed second in the state competition. He enjoys taking part in debates, playing chess and reading. He hopes to work for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) when he grows up.

Before heading to the Bee, Nilai created a video to tell the world all about his hometown.

The 2011 National Geographic Bee was moderated by Jeopardy host Alex Trebek. 

Nilai lost a best-of-five final round against Tine Valencic of Colleyville.

Writing the answers on sheets of paper, both boys answered the first three questions correctly, including giving the Italian name for sediment deposits that connect a shoreline with an offshore island: "tombolo."

But Nilai stumbled on the fourth question about the Tungurahua volcano, believing incorrectly that it was in Peru.

The final question in the round asked for the name of the Nepalese national park where the southern part of Mount Everest is located: Sagarmatha National Park. Both boys got that right, sealing Tine's win. Third-place finisher Stefan Petrovic of Lawrence, Kan., won $10,000.

Karthik Karnik, 13, a seventh grader at King Philip Middle School in Norfolk, Mass., finished in fifth place. Karnik is the son of Rathna and Vishwanath Karnik of Plainville, Mass.

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