THS student takes on national, international academic competitions


TIPP CITY — A Tippecanoe High School freshman will have the opportunity to compete in national and international academic competitions in Arlington, Virginia over Labor Day weekend.

“Of course, you got the nervous chills going on, but after you study a little bit and you gain the confidence, you ultimately do better,” Sadhil Mehta said. “I’ve studied, I’ve tried to gain confidence, and hopefully I can do the best I can.”

International Academic Competitions is a network of over a dozen separate academic competitions, all of which have been founded since 2010. Competitions take place in over 25 separate countries and are committed to the growth and development of academic teams worldwide. Competitions held by IAC include the National History Bowl, National Geography Bee, International History Olympiad, U.S. History Bee, U.S. Geography Championships, International Geography Bee, National Political Science Bee, National Science Bee, and National Sports and Entertainment History Bee.

Mehta, who is the son of Janesh and Garima Mehta, describes the competitions as trivia-based, where teams have to answer questions that are given at random. In order to qualify to compete, Mehta had to qualify by passing a 50-question exam. He was then invited to a “buzz round,” where he answered questions through a Zoom call. He got through several rounds and ultimately qualified to compete in the IAC that will be held this weekend.

“It was amazing, finding out I qualified. Amazing feeling for me, my parents — when my teachers learned, they were happy for me. I just enjoyed it, and I can finally represent my school,” Mehta said.

In preparation for the competition, Mehta used every resource available to him, especially YouTube videos and documentaries. As a child, he was partial to the series “How the States Got Their Shapes” and re-watched it while taking notes. He also had help from his parents, as well as Tipp City teachers Luke Zerkle, Geoff Enz, Byron Kimmel and Joe Bellas. His favorite subjects are history, geography, math and science. With geography and history, he enjoys learning about the overall cultural aspects of the topic and about the past, so he can have a better future.

“I enjoy learning about new things, new people, the whole world — it’s just amazing. With history, I like to learn from people’s past experiences to help benefit mine,” Mehta said.

Mehta is no stranger to academic competitions, having participated in science fairs and geographic bees. He qualified for the state level of the geographic bee as a seventh-grade student, but the competition was canceled due to the pandemic. He is also part of Tippecanoe High School’s quiz bowl team. During his middle school years, he participated in MATHCOUNTS, a math-based competition of similar format to quiz bowl. He is most looking forward to meeting new people over the weekend, learning about their experience and sharing his own.

“I just hope to have a fun time and gain some new knowledge that could help me in the future,” Mehta said. “I hope to gain some aspect of the world, to get a different view of it.”

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