Ten young scholars will vie to become the nation's top geography whiz in the finals of the National Geographic Bee.

The winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, among other prizes.

The 10 finalists outlasted 44 others during Monday's preliminary rounds, answering questions about history, world cultures, landmarks and climates. They range in age from 11 to 14.

Seven finalists have competed in the National Geographic Bee previously. They include last year's fourth-place finisher, Akhil Rekulapelli of Ashburn, Virginia. Krish Patel of Summerville, South Carolina, is competing in the bee for the fourth consecutive year.

Broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien will host Wednesday's finals, which will air Thursday night on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD.