CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — An 11-year-old Cupertino boy will be representing California in the 27th annual National Geographic Bee in Washington D.C. next week.
Madhavan Krishnan is one of 54 finalists in grades four through eight in which a $50,000 college scholarship is at stake.READ MORE: San Francisco Police Locate Yorkshire Terrier Stolen During Brazen Vehicle Break-In
The winner will also receive a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and a trip with a parent or guardian to the Galapagos where they will have an all-expenses-paid ride on the National Geographic Endeavour ship.
The contest starts Monday and the top 10 competitors will advance to a final round on Wednesday.
Madhavan can be seen in a YouTube video that has received more than 1 million views naming all the state capitols in less than three minutes.
He said his strength going into the competition is world geography and in particular countries in Asia and Africa.
He had entered competition at the state level in fourth grade, but didn’t make it out of the preliminary round. The next year he made it to 15th place.
While he is nervous about the contest, Madhavan said is also very excited.
Madhavan said he isn’t intimidated about the other competitors. Seven of this year’s finalists are returning to the competition for either a second or third time.
He’s been preparing by looking through online geography maps on his iPad and checking out books from the library.
“My family has been helping me prepare. They ask the questions in the books I get or ask quiz questions I find online,” Madhavan said.READ MORE: San Jose Police Motorcycle Officer Who Died In 2016 Collision Remembered
He will leave for Washington D.C. on Sunday with his dad, and it will be his first visit to the nation’s capitol.
During his trip he hopes to see the White House and Capitol building.
Madhavan moved with his family from Chennai, India to San Diego when he was 3 years old and then to Cupertino when he was 9 years old.
His interest in geography started when his parents bought him a globe when was younger.
When he isn’t studying geography, Madahvan likes to play the piano and chess. He also has a blue belt in karate.
He is currently a sixth grade student at Sam H. Lawson Middle School in Cupertino and would like to attend Stanford University in the future, but is still figuring out what he would like to major in.
Lakshmi Sundararaghavan, Madhavan’s mother, said her son learned how to read at a very young age and is a fast learner.
Her advice for her son is to “relax as much as possible and just enjoy the experience.”
While Madhavan is in Washington D.C. next week, she’ll be caring for his 7-year-old sister and watching an online live stream of the competition.
“I hope he wins. He’s worked really hard for this,” she said.MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: Excitement Builds As Hours Count Down To State's Reopening
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