This week, 12-year-old Arnav Patra represented New York at the 27th annual National Geographic Bee, in Washington, D.C. Fifty-four of the nation’s top geography students, ranging from fifth to eighth grade, competed for a $50,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Island, answering questions about places most of us adults have never even heard of. We caught up with Patra, who lives near Buffalo, as he was about to pack for Washington.

You must be a pro at studying — any tips you can give me?

Read various sources. At the last minute, I like to read maps several time over — sometimes that helps.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

Antarctica. I wouldn’t go there for the weather, but I’d go for the fact that not too many people go there and it’s sort of untouched.

What are your other interests?

I like to swim. I like to play tennis. I like to read. I enjoy music — I sing and play the cello.

What do you love about geography?

I love that it connects the entire world.

Watch in the final round of the National Geographic Bee on Nat Geo WILD Wednesday, May 20, at 7 p.m.