BRENTWOOD, Tennessee – The Star News Education Foundation announced Wednesday the first ever National Constitution Bee competition will take place on Saturday, October 24 in Brentwood, Tennessee, where the Grand Champion will be awarded an unprecedented education scholarship of $25,000.
In addition to the announcement, organizers have launched a new website, GuidetotheConstitution.org, where Bee contestants may review the new podcast series of the groundbreaking book, The Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary Students.
All secondary school students in the country currently enrolled in grades 8 through 12 and can register online for the competition here at www.nationalconstitutionbee.org.
Originally, the 2020 National Constitution Bee was to be held in two rounds in a number of locations across the country. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Undeterred, Leahy and his team of organizers decided to consolidate the series into a single event.
“Unlike the Constitution Bees in 2017, -18, and -19 – this year’s Bee will be open to all secondary-level students in the United States,” said Michael Patrick Leahy, the founder and emcee of the annual event.
“This gives competitors from all around the country the distinct opportunity to travel to Nashville and compete for the grand prize $25,000 educational scholarship,” Leahy said. Additional scholarships will be awarded to 2nd and 3rd places.
Every student in grades 8-12 no matter if they attend public school, private school, charter school or are homeschooled is welcome to compete.
“And we’ve made some important accommodations for seniors caught in the pandemic,” Leahy said.
“The Bee is typically limited to secondary school students. But this year, for those who registered to compete and then graduated, we will extend their eligibility for the national competition on October 24.”
All questions will be based on the The Star News Digital Media Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary Students – a supplementary text that discusses the people and events leading up to the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.
In it, students learn the personalities, policies, and some of the politics the framers dealt with as they designed what was as the time, a unique form of government. The story then continues through the first ten amendments, The Bill of Rights.
To help contestants prepare for the Bee, The Star News Education Foundation launched the website, GuidetotheConstitution.org.
“We understand students learn in different ways, so we have produced a podcast series of Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary Students that is available right from the website,” Leahy said.
The podcast series is available at no charge and may be accessed either from SoundCloud.com or the website, GuidetotheConstitution.org. Organizers say the series will be available on additional podcast networks soon.
Students who prefer a physical book can purchase a copy of the 227-page volume here. In all, The Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary Students includes 21 chapters, with discussion questions at the end of each of chapters. The soft-cover book also contains a robust appendix containing the complete text of the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, the remaining Amendments 11 – 27, a glossary, and sourced endnotes with QR codes.
To open the contest and before the question elimination portion of the competition begins, students have the option to display their creative side in the Preamble Challenge. In this competition, students have an opportunity to show off their unique abilities while demonstrating their high level of knowledge as they perform the 52 opening words that begin our founding document in any way they wish.
Past performances have included singing, dancing, rapping – and even an interpretation using American Sign Language. The judges will grade and award prizes to the participants in three different categories: most creative, most entertaining, and most persuasive.
Following the Preamble Challenge, the elimination rounds of the competition begin, where contestants answer questions revolving around the Constitution and events regarding the birth of our republic. As the competition progresses, questions will increase in difficulty.
In later rounds, students will analyze and answer essay questions which will be graded by our panel of Constitution experts. Toward the end of the competition, the field will be narrowed down to 3 competitors who will answer questions with the highest degree of difficulty until one grand champion is crowned.
The grand prize winner will receive an educational scholarship in the amount of $25,000. Second place will receive $5,000, and third place will be awarded $2,500.
Since 2017, the Star News Education Foundation has hosted this event and given students the unique opportunity to learn and demonstrate their knowledge surrounding the founding of our republic. Previous winners have received scholarships and special trips to meet with Senators, Congressman, and even federal judges.
In 2017, winner Noah Farley met with Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Griffith in Washington DC. In 2018, Cooper Moran visited with Senator Marsha Blackburn and Congresswoman Diane Black and even witnessed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first visit to the Capitol Building.
Each student that chooses to compete in this experience represents the very best of what our country has to offer, and it is the goal of the Star News Education Foundation and the National Constitution Bee to encourage and grow that deep appreciation for our country and government that these students have.
For more information, the complete rule guidelines, and to register for the competition, please visit nationalconstitutionbee.org.
To learn more about the non-profit Star News Education Foundation, visit starnewseducationfoundation.org.