Minocqua Family Boasts Not One, But Two Geography Whiz Kids


Wisconsin is being represented in the National Geographic Bee this year by the sister of a boy who took second last year.

One geography whiz can make parents proud. Two makes them doubly so. A Minocqua family has daughter Asha Jain going to nationals next week, a year after her brother Vansh went for the third and final time.

As a parent, Manisha says she and her husband gently encouraged the children when they showed a knack for learning at a young age. In addition to books and mind games, they bought a globe and easy-to-read atlases with lots of pictures: “Our…contribution would be exposing them to all those different sources that were available.”

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This weekend the family heads to Washington D.C. for a two-day National Geographic Bee in which their seventh-grade daughter Asha will be asked questions by the host of the quiz show “Jeopardy!”, Alex Trebek. “I’m both looking forward to the competition but I’m nervous at the same time,” says Asha.

The questions posed to students in 4th through 8th grade require participants to know places and how the people there live. There are questions about politics, the economy, and culture. “Last year in the school bee against my brother they asked this question: ‘The Piccadilly Circus is in what capitol city?’ “

The answer: London. Fifty-four young geography buffs will be competing next week in the 25th annual event.

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