Idaho’s First National Civics Bee competition seeks kids in grades 6-8

Sudents in grades 6-8 looking to sharpen their civics knowledge and make a difference in their community over summer break can apply to compete in Idaho’s first National Civics Bee competition. 

For the first round of the contest, Idaho students submit a 500-word essay that explains how to solve a problem or address an opportunity in their community using civic principles and systems. Essays are due by July 1 at 11:59 p.m. MDT. 

The competition guidebook explains, “By practicing civic virtue and using your talents, you can solve a problem you feel passionate about and create something that is beautiful and necessary in making our community better.” 

From the essays, judges will select 20 finalists to compete at the final round of the contest — a live quiz event testing civics knowledge. The event is in Meridian on Tuesday, August 13. 

Prizes include $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place. 

The winner of the final round in Idaho will compete in the National Civics Bee in Washington, D.C.,  in the fall. State finalists could win up to $50,000. 

The first year of the contest in Idaho and the second year nationally, Carolyn Cawley, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is quoted on their website saying: “The evidence is clear: informed and active citizens make for a strong country, a strong economy, and a strong workforce. Our continued prosperity depends on the strength of all three, and so does the long-term health of America’s economy.”

More information about the competition can be found on the Idaho Chamber Alliance website, which is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to host the competition. 

  • Apply to the National Civics Bee and submit your essay here. 
  • This flyer summarizes the information you need to know. 
  • This teacher guide can help as you craft your essay. 
  • This video shows highlights from the 2023 National Civics Bee competition. 
Katie McGuire

Katie McGuire

Katie McGuire is a freelance reporter for EdNews. She lives in Meridian with her husband and their two children. She has a bachelor's degree in secondary education social science teaching from Brigham Young University and a master's in history from Kent State University.

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