Fairfax brothers compete in international geography bee

Fairfax brothers compete in international geography bee (ABC7)

The Bhinge boys sat down for a last minute geography review just days before they leave their Fairfax home and board a plane to Berlin.

Rohil Bhinge, a 14-year-old rising tenth grader at Woodson High School told ABC7 News, "It's been a lot of preparing since fifth grade. That's when I really started studying geography."

Samik, 13, who attends Frost Middle School said, "I like how history is related to geography in so many ways; that if you understand one of them, then you understand the other one."

Samik and Rohil understand enough about geography to hold national titles. That accomplishment qualifies them to compete in the International Geography Bee World Championships in Germany July 11 to 17.

"I've never competed in an international competition before so this is just a big deal for me," Rohil said.

The buzzer style competition doesn't only cover geography based on location, but current events, culture, history and politics.

The boys' mother, Meena Bhinge, said, "To participate in this competition they have to keep up with current events, they have to know what's going on in the world and they have to apply that knowledge."

Much of the Bhinges' knowledge has been obtained through dedicated study and extensive travel. The brothers have traveled to 38 states and 12 countries.

When they're not poring over maps and geography study guides, Rohil plays piano and Samik practices violin. Each is also active in track and field.

Being well-rounded has proven to be a winning formula on the state and national levels and the Bhinges are expecting the same in the upcoming international competition.

"It's just knowing the format and knowing strategy like which questions to buzz in on and whether you should take a risk or not," Samik said.

An approach that could help these national title holders become geography world champions.

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