NBC News

Just 4 of the 54 Kids in the National Geographic Bee Are Girls

The National Geographic Bee championship kicks off Sunday, with the final round crowning a new champion on Thursday

When Gayatri Kaimal, a seventh-grader from Tucson, Arizona, competes in the National Geographic Bee finals this weekend, she’ll be one of the only four girls on stage, NBC News reported.

Fifty-four geography-loving fourth-to-eighth-graders have earned a spot in the televised, rapid-fire contest — winners of local competitions from each U.S. state and territory — but just four of them are girls. The gender gap has persisted since the competition started in 1989; of the 29 winners, only two have been girls.

Gayatri, 13, beat 100 other children to win this year’s Arizona Geographic Bee. She said she feels extra pressure to perform this weekend as one of the few girls to make it this far in the competition, adding, “I wish there was a little bit more representation for both genders."

The National Geographic Bee championship kicks off Sunday, with the final round crowning a new champion on Thursday.

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