Upon further review ... teen geography whiz strikes paydirt on Mesabi Range

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Karan Menon's middle school may be in Edison, New Jersey ... but he knows what's mined on Minnesota's Mesabi Range.

So in the semi-finals of the National Geographic Bee on Wednesday, the 14-year-old wouldn't take no for an answer.

As USA Today reports, when Menon was asked what metal-bearing mineral is found on the Mesabi Range, his answer – "taconite" – was rejected because judges were looking for "iron ore."

Taconite, as self-respecting Rangers know, is a type of iron ore.

So when Menon pressed the National Geographic folks on the issue, they relented and credited him with a correct answer. He then cruised through the final round without a miss to win the championship.

As dazzling as his knowledge of the world is, this middle schooler's readiness to question the authorities was also clearly essential to his victory.

Speaking about his appeal of the Mesabi question, Menon told the Associated Press:

“I was 100 percent sure. I didn’t know why I had been marked wrong, so I decided to speak up for myself and challenge the question.”

Menon told the AP that in the run-up to Wednesday's competition he was studying geography for eight hours a day and getting help from a coach who had worked with previous winners of the National Geographic Bee.

After he was crowned the geography bee champion of New Jersey in April, Menon sat down for an interview with TV Asia USA.

Iron ore vs. taconite

Taconite is a low-grade iron ore that was ignored or discarded by mining companies in the days when high-grade iron was plentiful, a taconite primer from Minnesota's DNR explains.

More recently, scientists with the University of Minnesota developed better methods of extracting the ore from taconite into pellets that are shipped to steel mills and have given Minnesota's Iron Range new life.

Northeastern Minnesota's rocks are among the oldest in the world, dating from a time when an inland sea covered the middle of North America. The Grand Rapids Herald-Review reported this spring that experts with the Science Museum of Minnesota are conducting an ongoing study of the region's geology.

Next Up

GFGLogo

Golf spots still available for the Rod Simons Memorial Golf for the Gift of Adoption

The annual golf tournament is THIS TUESDAY at Troy Burne in Hudson, Wisconsin.

police tape, crime scene

Police investigating Saturday homicide in Austin

Officers responded to a report of a woman shot in a house in Austin just before 2 a.m. Saturday.

fire, firefighter

2 dead in Wadena County house fire, boy survives

The fire was reported around 3:50 a.m. Sunday.

Jose Berrios

BerrĂ­os dominates in first start with Blue Jays

The former Twin made a great first impression with his new team.

Lauri Markkanen

Report: Timberwolves interested in sign-and-trade for Lauri Markkanen

The Wolves will look to upgrade at power forward in free agency.

Suni Lee

Suni Lee, Regan Smith take home Olympic medals Sunday

Lee won bronze in the uneven bars final, while Smith won silver in the 4x100-meter medley relay.

Screen Shot 2021-08-01 at 9.16.26 AM

'Zero respect for authority': Olmsted Co. Fair wracked by wave of juvenile disturbances

Fair officials imposed strict new rules to deal with the problem.

ambulance, crash

Baby dies, 5 injured when SUV flips over fence onto I-94 in Brooklyn Center

Alcohol was detected on the driver, according to the State Patrol.

minneapolis police

Police say officers were shot at in north Minneapolis

Officers were checking into a suspicious activity report when gunfire erupted.

5266815680_05d882aa85_h

Walmart to mandate COVID vaccine for some managers, corporate employees

The company will also reinstate mask mandates for employees in high-transmission areas.

Minneapolis police

Driver plows into crowd after downtown Minneapolis brawl

Two suspects have reportedly been identified.

Jorge Alcala

Rare night for Twins' bullpen fuels victory over Cardinals

The Twins scored five runs in the third inning in an 8-1 victory.

Related