WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced the launch of the 2024 National Civics Bee. The competition is expanding to 28 states for the 2023-2024 school year, tripling its reach from nine states last year. Students may apply for the competition here. The deadline to enter is January 8, 2024.
The National Civics Bee is a nationwide competition that encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Middle school students in grades 6-8 flex their civics knowledge for a chance to win recognition and cash prizes. Chambers of commerce across 28 states will host in-person contests in their communities this school year. Top performing students will advance through local and state rounds, culminating in a national competition held in Washington D.C.
This remarkable expansion reflects the deepening civics education crisis in America and has been made possible by significant multi-year grants from supporters like the Daniels Fund. Recent studies have shown alarming gaps in Americans' understanding of our democratic processes and systems. More than one third of U.S. adults cannot name the three branches of government. The National Civics Bee taps into business leaders' deep commitment to strengthening civics education and the long-term health of our democracy.
"We are sounding the alarm on the declining civic knowledge among our nation's youth," said Carolyn Cawley president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. "The National Civics Bee is designed to showcase the knowledge and skills all of us need to thrive in the 21st Century. We encourage students, parents, and teachers nationwide to visit our website and sign up today. Let's work together to address this crisis in civics education."
National Civics Bee Teams Up With Khan Academy
This year, for the first time, students who advance to the local competitions will receive free tutoring support through Khan Academy’s new AI-powered tutor and teaching assistant, Khanmigo. The pilot of this technology will allow these students to be some of the first in the nation to use the power of AI for education, starting with learning foundational knowledge about civics. Khanmigo includes important guardrails to encourage proper use of the innovative AI tool.
“We are excited to help students practice for the National Civics Bee through quizzing and conversations with Khanmigo,” said Kristen DiCerbo, Khan Academy’s chief learning officer. “These interactions will be richer than traditional practice activities and we look forward to seeing the learning that happens.”
How to Apply for the 2024 Competition
Enrollment for the 2024 National Civics Bee is now open. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in participating states are invited to submit a 500-word essay addressing a community issue. The submission period is open through January 8, 2024. The full list of participating chambers can be found here.
A panel of judges will review the essay submissions and the top 20 students will move on to their local competition to show off their civics knowledge. The top local winners will then advance to a state competition, and state champions will compete in the national round in Washington, D.C., for a chance to win the national title and more than $50,000 in prizes.
“The National Civics Bee is an opportunity for middle school students to gain a deeper understanding of our nation in a fun, engaging way. Continued collaboration among philanthropies, community leaders, elected officials, educators, and parents is essential if we’re to reprioritize civics education as a nation and protect our institutions and system of government,” said Hanna Skandera, president and CEO of the Daniels Fund. “As we focus our efforts on expanding the National Civics Bee to students in all 50 states, we are grateful for partners like those at the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Khan Academy who are diligently working to make it possible.”