Nihar Janga (far right) with team champions     Photo: Mark Thiessen, National Geographic 

Nihar Janga, an 8th-grader from Canyon Ridge Middle School in Austin, Texas, won the 31st annual National Geographic GeoBee held in Washington, D.C.  But get this — in 2016, Janga was the co-champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee! It was a very competitive championship round with five tiebreaker questions — Nihar was tied with Atreya Mallanna, a 6th-grader at William Diamond Middle School in Lexington, Massachusetts, heading into the final round. The winning question was “More than one-third of Norway’s northernmost county is located on what plateau?”  How many of you Friends of the Planet know the answer?  Did you Google it already? It’s the “Finnmark Plateau.”

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