WHAT IS THE TEXAS CITIZEN BEE?
The Texas Citizen Bee is a statewide civic education program and competition. Regional competitions take place in each educational resource center region and winning students advance to the state competition. The Sumners Foundation and the Law-Related Education Department of the State Bar of Texas sponsor this program.
Students who are in the 9th-12th grades.
WHAT DOES THE COMPETITION LOOK LIKE?
Students take a 35-question multiple-choice test covering content from the categories below and then answer one question verbally from each of the following categories.
● The Constitution
● Documents and Supreme Court Cases
● Civic Values and Skills–Only tested in the written portion of the contest
● Current Events–Topics and range of dates are listed below. This will only be tested in the written portion of the contest.
Citizen Bee questions in the Current Events category will be based on a number of sources. There are no Competition Guide entries for this category. For the Current Events portion of the Bee, study the following:
● National and world headline news stories from September 1, 2021 through February 15, 2022
● Major actions of Congress from September 1, 2021 to February 15, 2022
● Newsworthy stories related to the President of the United States
● The two U.S. Senators from Texas
● Names of the heads of “the big four” Cabinet departments: State, Defense, Justice, and Treasury
● Major stories concerning the “big four” Cabinet departments
● Major leaders in both houses of the U.S. Congress for 2021 and 2022
● National and Texas elections and politics for 2021 and 2022
|Technology requirements to participate:
● The written test will be conducted using Google Forms. Students will need access to a device (phones, tablet, or laptop) to take the assessment.
● Technology for the oral test (if needed) will be determined by the regional coordinator.
● If a contestant has an issue with these requirements please contact the regional coordinator for assistance.
1. Each region will determine the virtual or face to face components of the competition and will communicate this to each sponsor
and student. * Specific procedures will be sent to registered contestants.
2. No reference material or electronic retrieval systems may be used during the written and verbal rounds of the competition.
3. The Written Test includes 35 multiple choice questions from the competition categories listed. Students will have 20 minutes to complete
the written test. The TEN students scoring the highest on the written test will advance to the oral rounds.
4. The Verbal Question Rounds will require each student to answer one question from each of the following categories:
● Documents and Supreme Court Cases
Students will be able to see the question they are to answer. The student has 45 seconds to answer. After 35 seconds a ten second warning will be given.
The panel of judges will rule on the answer and base their ruling on a student’s first response at the end of the time or when a student answers. The head judge will raise a Correct sign to indicate a correct answer or an Incorrect sign to indicate an incorrect answer.
If a student answers first, “I don’t know,” but then gives an answer, “I don’t know” will be considered the first response. The judges cannot ask a student to repeat, clarify, or elaborate an answer.
If the moderator asks for a student to give the name of a person, they must give the full name as it is listed on the website. Examples from the website include the following: if the answer is “John Quincy Adams,” “Adams” or “John Adams” would both be incorrect; if the answer is “John F. Kennedy,” JFK or Kennedy would not be correct. An example in current events would be if the question asked for the current governor of Texas, the answer would have to be “Greg Abbott.” Just “Abbott” would not be correct. Students will not be asked the name of a Supreme Court case in the oral round but will be asked questions related to the content of the case.
5. Appeal Procedure for the Verbal Question Round
When the judges have rendered their decision, the student is allowed to appeal. Only a contestant may lodge an appeal, and only on an answer he or she has given. Notice of an appeal must be stated immediately after the decision of the judges on a question and before the next question begins. If a student wishes to appeal, he/she should state the intention to appeal and state the reason for an appeal immediately following the judges’ decision. The judges will then take a brief timeout to discuss the appeal and render the decision which will be explained to the student with the reasoning. As soon as the appeal is decided, the next question will begin.
6. Tiebreakers for the Competition— The contest coordinator will use the following procedures in case a tie in either the written or oral competition:
WRITTEN Test Round
- Step 1–Review the scores of the Constitution section to see if one student scored higher. If the tie remains, proceed to Step 2.
- Step 2–Review the scores of the Documents and Supreme Court Case section to see if one student scored higher. If the tie remains, proceed to Step 3.
- Step 3–Review the scores of the People, Events, Civic Values and Skills section to see if one student scored higher. If the tie remains, proceed to Step 4.
- Step 4–Review the scores of the Current Events sections to see if one student scored higher. If the tie remains, the students that are tied will advance to the Oral Competition.
VERBAL Question Round
- Step 1—Overall Written – The student with the higher score in the overall written component is declared the winner. If the tie remains, proceed to Step 2.
- Step 2—Constitution Section -The student with the higher score in the Constitution section of the written component is declared the winner. If a tie remains, the judges proceed to Step 3.
- Step 3—Documents and Supreme Court Cases Section – The student with the higher score in the Documents and Supreme Court cases section of the written component is declared the winner. If a tie remains, the judges proceed to Step 4.
- Step 4—People/Event Section -The student with the higher score in the People/Event section of the written component is declared the winner.
In case of a tie for 1st through 3rd places after the four steps listed above the students who are tied will be notified to break the tie with a head to head questioning session from the four categories in the verbal question round.
Disqualification — If, at any point, a student is disruptive, exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct, or is coached in any way the student is immediately disqualified from the competition.
1st Place– $250 gift card–Qualifies for the State Citizen Bee Competition
2nd Place– $100 gift card–Qualifies for the State Citizen Bee Competition if the 1st place cannot participate
3rd Place– $50 gift card–Qualifies for the State Citizen Bee Competition if the 1st and 2nd place cannot participate