Middle School Students Can Apply to Compete in National Civics Bee

December 13, 2023
Photo by Adobe Enter to compete in the National Civics Bee

The National Civics Bee has come to Wisconsin and students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades are encouraged to compete. Students can apply to enter the regional round of competition by submitting an essay on the importance of civic engagement by January 22, 2024. 

The regional Civics Bees will take place in four regions of the state and participants will be selected from the essay submissions. The regional Civic Bees will be held:

  • March 23 in Appleton
  • April 2 in Wausau. at the Wausau Chamber of Commerce
  • April 13 in Eau Claire at the Eau Claire chamber of Commerce
  • April 27 at the Case High School Theater in Racine. 

Waukesha County students would participate in the Racine Civics Bee, as their closest regional hub. This is also the location where their essays must be sent by January 8. Details and rules for application and submission are available on the Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce website. 

The state-wide finals Civics Bee will be held on Flag Day, June 14, 2024, in Madison. 

Regional Civics Bee prizes are $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $125 for third place, as well as advancement to the state-wide competition in Madison. State Civics Bee prizes are $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place, as well as advancement to the National Civics Bee in Washington, D.C. where they will compete for prizes worth more than $50,000. 

The essay topic for entry into the Civics Bee asks students to identify a problem facing your community and explain how a citizen might solve the problem? The 500-word essay must include: 

  • What is the problem, and how do different members in your community or neighborhood view it? 
  • What civic principles or systems could help to address the problem? 
  • What primary sources, such as the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution, provide supporting evidence or examples for your idea or recommendation? 
  • How might members of your community or neighborhood bring your idea or recommendation to life? 

 A panel of judges will evaluate essays based on how well they: 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of civics 
  • Acknowledge and address opposing points of view 
  • Use primary sources 
  • Clearly describe an idea or innovation that is new to you 

The National Civics Bee was created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2021. The Wisconsin Civics Bee is sponsored by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Foundation in partnership with the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, the Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wausau Chamber of Commerce. 

Editor: This story has been updated with the extended application deadline of January 22. The original deadline was January 8.