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National Civics Bee

It's easy to enter! Write a 500-word essay and you're in!

Calling all middle school students! Are you looking for a fun and engaging way to learn how civics plays a part in your everyday life?  Look no further! The business community relies on active professionals to make for a strong economy, and a strong workforce and our continued prosperity depends on both.

Participate in our National Civics Bee, presented by the Greater Vancouver Chamber, with support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, to become better informed about American democracy and test your civics knowledge for a chance to win recognition and cash prizes!


The National Civics Bee is an annual competition that encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. In the first round of the contest, local 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students will participate in an essay competition. Judges will then select 20 finalists to participate in our local competition: a live quiz event testing civics knowledge. The top 3 students from the southwest WA competition will advance to the state competition to be held in Seattle, WA on June 1st, 2023.


It's easy to participate! If you are a middle school student, submit your 500-word essay in response to the following prompt: Identify a problem facing your community. How might you solve the problem? for consideration and you are in the contest!

Review the rules and guidelines by clicking the button below.


Be a champion for civics! Each finalist that participates in the local Civics Bee competition will receive a certificate commemorating their participation.

Local Prizes:

  • First Place: $500
  • Second Place: $250
  • Third Place: $125

State Prizes:

  • First Place: $1,000
  • Second Place: $500
  • Third Place: $250


Building community takes all of us! We believe that advocacy and civic engagement are essential elements to improve our community and create a positive change in the world. The Greater Vancouver Chamber, as the largest business organization in southwest Washington, takes the weight of its voice seriously in conversations, debates, and advocacy activities about how to assure community members and businesses continue to thrive across the region.

We are proud to count with a strong group of civic minded individuals who form our Government and Public Affairs Committee that every year identifies a list of priorities that allows our business community to discuss and ask our local legislators to act and address the issues that matter the most.


“The National Civics Bee means to me that I can be a driving force for change not only for my community but for the long-lasting history of the U.S. and surrounding cultures.”- Devin Spector-Van Zee, Third Place (Vancouver, WA)

“At the Chamber, we firmly believe that by nurturing and actively involving the youth of Southwest Washington in civic matters, we are making a strategic investment in the emerging leaders who will propel our community towards sustained growth and opportunities.”- John McDonagh, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber

“A lot of people don't recognize civics for what it is. It helps you beyond academics because it is part of our world today. It is part of our government that runs us and how we run the government as well, being a Democratic government. It helps us to realize who we are and what we can do if we try.”- Kaitlyn Thangaraj, First Place (Iowa)

“Talking about my essay to people really seemed to connect with them- that was probably my favorite part.”- Lucas Campbell, First Place (Kentucky)

“It feels amazing- I don't know how to describe it. My heart was beating really fast.”- Michael Atika, First Place (Maryland)

“We’re on a mission to increase civic literacy because we believe all young people, no matter what job they dream of doing, should understand how democracy works and how to be active and engaged citizens.”- Carolyn Cawley, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Ready To Test Your Civics Knowledge?

Take this brief quiz to see how well you stack up. And don’t worry, whether you ace them or need some refreshers, we are glad you’re interested in civics and civic engagement. We need more people like you. Ready? Let’s go!

If you have any questions about the National Civics Bee, please email us at or request information below.

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