Local geography whiz going to nationals in D.C.

Elliza Patel helping her son Krish study for the nationwide geography bee (Source: Josh Braunreuther/WCIV)

By Sonya

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Do you know the capital of all 50 states? How about the currencies in all the countries around the world?

These are all facts that one local seventh grader knows, which is why he will be representing the Palmetto State in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Krish Patel's home is filled with maps, but they are just one of the resources he uses when studying for the nationwide geography bee.

"You can't just use like a map because then you don't know anything about the cultural people who live there or what endangered species who live there," said Krish Patel, a finalist in National Geographic Bee.

And yes, those are just some of the questions that could be asked at the national level which is why Krish has various ways of studying from reading atlases and books to drawing maps. He even has a talking globe.

His parents are his biggest supporters; in fact, his mom has mastered the art of quizzing.

"They quiz me a lot. They really try to instill the concentration and focus that you really need to have in order to study geography," said Patel.

His geographical passion began at a young age and has grown with time. This will be his third time going to nationals.

"It's a really tough competition. There is a lot of like, intensity; there are a lot of kids who are very well prepared," said Patel. "They are not just here to play around. They are really here sincerely to win."

He studies four to five hours a day during the week and up to nine hours on the weekend.

"I love the learning part because you are learning fact after fact after fact and that's so interesting. You are learning more about the world, which you should really know because if you don't know about the world you are what am I living on just a big piece of rock. No, there is a lot of other things that are in the big piece of rocks," said Patel.

And mapping his learning curve shows no signs of stopping.

The National Geographic Bee is on May 22 at the National Theater in Washington, D.C.

There are 54 finalists competing for not only the title of National Geographic World Championship, but also for college scholarship money and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.