“Geography” does not have a good name.
The subject evokes dull concepts like capital cities, rivers and mountain ranges. It’s not the sexiest subject on the planet.
But that rep is wrong. Geography captivates Sid Kumar. The Greens Farms Elementary School 5th grader has used it to learn about music, religions, cuisines, currencies and much more.
And it’s earned him a trip to Quebec City next spring. Sid finished 11th nationally in the International Academic Competitions’ geography championship.
Entering both the elementary school and junior varsity divisions, he answered multiple rounds of long, detailed questions about history, statues, resources — all the things that make the world so exciting for Sid.
His journey began in preschool. His parents, Dinesh and Shilpa, got him US and world puzzles. That led to geography-related toys, then books, atlases, and music, flag and travel videos.
Along with the entertaining, educational Geography Now YouTube channel.
Sid quickly discovered that “geography” involves politics, culture, and so much more.
Including money. Among his many other interests — like guitar, karate, swimming and ice skating — Sid has already collected currencies from 106 countries.
Of the dozen or so countries he’s been to, Sid can’t pick a favorite. Each, he says, has something making it special.
Of the places he has not yet seen, Cuba tops the list. Among its attractions: beaches, and “the style of Havana.”
Sid will no doubt get there, some time. But first comes a trip north, to Quebec.
It’s a city with great food, plenty of history — and a challenging, exciting international geography competition.