The Star News Digital Media Constitution Bee
is open for registration!
If you have a secondary school-level student enrolled in a public or private school, or an accredited home school program, they are eligible to participate in the Star News Digital Media Constitution Bee, a one-day event to be held in Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota.
Students in grades 8 through 12 are eligible to participate in person. The questions and associated study guide are geared to students in grades 11 and 12, but ambitious students in grades 8, 9, and 10 are welcome as well.
This will be the fourth year Star News Digital Media has held a Constitution Bee, and the first year Constitution Bees will be held outside of Tennessee. The first was held in 2017 at Sycamore High School of Cheatham County Schools in Pleasant View, Tennessee, and the second was held in 2018 at the Williamson County Administration Building in Franklin, Tennessee.
The student who wins the Grand Prize Championship as the top Constitution secondary school student in the state will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C, along with a parent, plus a $3,000.00 (three thousand) scholarship to apply to the first year’s expenses to the winner’s college or trade school of choice after high school.
2017 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee winner Noel Farley took his trip to Washington, D.C. in October 2017, where he met with Federal Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Griffith.
2018 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee winner Cooper Moran took his trip to Washington, D.C. in July 2018, and was at the Capitol where he witnessed Supreme Court nominee, now Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh’s first walk through the halls of the Capitol with Vice President Mike Pence on their way to meet the United States senators who would vote on his confirmation.
In addition to the individual Grand Prize Championship, high schools will also be competing for the Star News Digital Media Constitution Bee High School State Championship.
“It is vital that we rediscover the importance of our Constitution, and pass it along to the next generation,” J.C. Bowman, executive director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, which provides the educational scholarship, told The Star.
“We think a Constitution Bee is an important step to encourage that effort. The preservation of our liberties is an ongoing battle, something our Founders understood,” Bowman said.
The Bee is designed to focus on student knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the same way as the National Spelling Bee and the National Geography Bee.
Star News Digital Media CEO and Editor-in-chief Michael Patrick Leahy said that 20 teachers from across the state are being invited to join the Constitution Bee Educational Advisory Board from each state this year.
“We are looking for 10 public school teachers, five private school teachers, and five home school parents to join our Educational Advisory Board to help us reach an even greater number of participating students this year,” Leahy said.
Confirmed contestants will receive – at no charge – a copy of the 2019 first edition of the textbook based on the groundbreaking Constitution Series, The Star News Digital Media Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The questions in the Star News Digital Media Constitution Bee will be based on the 2019 edition of The Star News Digital Media Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which will be available for purchase at a price of $35 on August 30, 2019.
“Our guide is written at the level for 11th and 12th grade students who are taking the half semester course in Government, but can also be used as a self-study guide by any student in grades 8 through 12,” Leahy added.
Judges will include local teachers, attorneys, and editors from The Tennessee Star, The Ohio Star, Michigan Star, and the Minnesota Sun.
The first annual Star News National Constitution Bee will be held on May 16, 2020 in Nashville, where the top finishers from all the Star News Constitution Bees will compete for the national championship.
Residents of states other than Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota who are interested in operating Star News Constitution Bees in their states are invited to apply for licensing rights in their states for the 2020 Star News National Constitution Bee. State license agreements will be available in January 2020, and will include training sessions conducted in Nashville.