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Local Middle Schooler Places Fifth in National Geography Bee

01_Abhinav Karthikeyan_Maryland_cr_Rebecca_Drobis_National_Geographic_edited.JPG

Clarksburg resident and Roberto Clemente Middle School student, Abhinav Karthikeyan has placed fifth in the National Geographic Bee which was held in Washington DC on Wednesday.

This is the third time that 12-year-old Karthikeyan has represented Maryland as one of the competitors in the National Geographic Bee, and this is the farthest he’s ever gotten. It announced yesterday that he was one of the Top 10 finalists competing for first prize which is a $50,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and a trip to the Galápagos Islands.


“I’ve had interest in it since pre-school,” Abhinav told the Germantown Pulse in April. He said his interest was inspired by an uncle in India who was a cartographer. ”My motivation for learning geography is winning the $50,000 check,” said Karthikeyan referring to the prize money the national winner receives. But, he also says there is some cultural pride which drives him on noting that many of the top ten finalists in recent years have been of Indian decent. “In fourth grade there were eight Indian students in the top ten at nationals, and this year there were five in the top ten. I want to represent the Indian community.”

This year, Karthikeyan was one of