The mind of Sanjeev Uppalluri took off for places unknown at the age of 2, when an uncle gave him a globe of the world.
Sanjeev, a Roswell kid, wanted to know more about the planet. More. More is better for Sanjeev and he proved it this week.
The Fulton Sunshine Academy fifth-grader finished third in the National Geographic Bee, a geography contest in Washington, D.C.
Sanjeev, Georgia’s champion, breezed through the preliminary round without missing a question and earned a $10,000 scholarship to be used at the university of his choice.
The toughest question he faced in the first round?
A question about Mendoza, Argentina: Is it east of Mount Aconcagua, on the pampas or near the Bolivian border?
Answer: East of Mount Aconcagua.
“I was pretty confident, but maybe a little nervous (going into the competition),” the 11-year-old said.
The first round of 54 contestants, one from each state and several from U.S. territories, was down to 10 on Tuesday.
“I was the only one there out of 54 kids to get a perfect score,” Sanjeev said.
Siri Uppalluri, his mother, said she and her husband Srini both encouraged Sanjeev’s precocious interest in geography. Now, he drives them in his push to know more.
“He works on it 12 to 15 hours a day some days,” Siri said. “I can’t pull him out of it.”
Siri, an information technology specialist who works from home, helps by making up 100 questions a day for him on a specific country.
And where does Sanjeev hope to apply that $10,000 scholarship?
“Probably Harvard,” he said confidently.
Watch Sanjeev in the bee on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD Thursday at 7 p.m.
See Sanjeev’s video about Georgia, his home state at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7ooihY8fW8&feature=youtu.be
Take the quiz of questions thrown at the finalists and see how well you do.
10 sample questions from the National Geographic Be this week.
1. What country is bordered by Burkina Faso and Libya?
2. What country is bordered by Thailand and Cambodia?
3. What country is bordered by Turkey and Saudi Arabia?
4. Mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to climb the world’s 14 highest peaks without supplemental oxygen. The final peak in her expedition was K2, located on the border between China and what other country?
5. Northern Namibia is the site of one of the world’s largest wildlife parks, which is centered on a large salt pan. Name this salt pan.
6. Botanist Joseph Rock … made many expeditions to the upper Salween River region near the Tanggula Range. This range lies in what present-day country?
7. The Okavango Delta feeds into what lake to the south?
8. Name the historic region south of Tripolitania that includes the Saharan oases of Sabha and Marzuq.
9. The city of N’Djamena is located at the confluence of the Logone River and what other river?
10. Situated in Yukon’s southwest corner, Mount Logan is located in what subrange of the Coast Ranges?
Answers: 1. Niger. 2. Laos. 3. Iraq. 4. Pakistan. 5. Etosha Pan. 6. China. 7. Lake Ngami. 8. Fezzan. 9. Chari River. 10. St. Elias Mountains.