Local students to compete in Kansas Constitution Bee

WICHITA — Four area high school students will be among 16 competitors Saturday in the second annual Kansas Constitution Bee at the Hyatt Regency Wichita.

The statewide competition tests students' understanding of American history and civics.

Four students from each of the state's four Congressional districts advanced to the finals. Locally, Mary Beth White and Christopher Reed from Wichita Heights, Peter Smith from Wichita Collegiate and April Wright from Wellington advanced. White finished first in the regional competition.

The state finals will include a written and oral examination requiring students to answer questions about American history and current events. The four students with the highest scores will advance to compete in the final round, the "Civic Conversation" roundtable discussion.

The students will be given a civic topic to discuss and 30 minutes to prepare. They will be judged by a panel of educators according to their knowledge and understanding of the question and historical documents, as well as their contributions to the civil discourse.

The Kansas Constitution Bee is sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit educational organization based in Arlington, Va. It is underwritten by the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation.