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Wisconsin Chambers to Host Regional, Statewide Civics Bee

Middle-school students urged to submit essays to participate

MADISON – The statewide and four local Wisconsin chambers of commerce will partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) to conduct Civics Bee contests in Wisconsin next year.

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce, and the Wausau Chamber of Commerce, will host regional Civics Bee contests starting in the spring. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) Foundation will then host a statewide finals to be held in Madison on Flag Day, June 14.

The National Civics Bee ® was started by the USCCF in 2021 and seeks to encourage 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students to engage in civics and contribute to their communities.

The announcement to conduct a Wisconsin Civics Bee comes after a recent U.S. Department of Education report showed eighth graders nationwide had the lowest test scores for U.S. history and civics on record.

WMC President/CEO Kurt Bauer called those test scores “alarming” and the major reason why the WMC Foundation decided to join with the four local chambers and the USCCF to conduct a Wisconsin contest. “We are very excited and hope that this contest will improve civics literacy in Wisconsin and help make our young people better informed citizens,” he said.

Here is how the process works. Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are encouraged to apply to participate in one of the four regional Wisconsin Civics Bees held in Appleton, Eau Claire, Racine or Wausau by submitting an essay on the importance of civic engagement.

All of the regional bees are open to students across the state.

The essay submission deadline is January 8, 2024.

Bee participants will be selected from the essay submissions. Regional Civics Bee competitions will then be held as follows:

Regional Civics Bee Schedule

Statewide “Finals” Civic Bee

  • June 14 – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce in Madison

First, second and third place finishers will be awarded cash prizes for both regional and state competitions. State finalists who advance to the national competition in Washington, DC will compete for prizes worth more than $50,000!

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