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Citizenship Challenge Pittsburgh

 

Our Pittsburgh-based annual essay contest where students tackle tough civics issues facing our democracy

Who is Eligible? The Challenge is open to 4th and 5th grade classes in public, private, or parochial schools in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Information is available by contacting Beth Specker at bspecker@rendellcenter.org.

Submission Deadline EXTENDED: November 16, 2018

Finals: December 7, 2018

The 2018 Pittsburgh Citizenship Challenge Question: To become President of the United States, the Constitution states that an individual is required to be a natural born citizen—meaning born in the United States. Do you think this requirement should remain or be removed from the Constitution?

View Official Rules and Entry Information (PDF)

Classroom teams are asked to write an essay that addresses their point of view on the assigned issue. Teams take one position and defend their argument in a concise written document of a minimum of 300 words. The contest is drawn from PA Civics standards relating to principles and documents of government; rights and responsibilities of citizens; and information on how government works.

From all entries submitted eight finalists are selected and invited to make a final presentation of their essay at the Senator John Heinz History Center. All expenses are paid by The Rendell Center

Annual Prizes

  • 1 GRAND PRIZE of $1,000: The first place school will receive a check to be used toward a program that promotes civics learning and engagement across the student body.
  • 3 RUNNER-UP PRIZES of $500: Each of the three runner-up schools will receive a check to be used toward a program that promotes civics learning and engagement across the student body.
  • TOP ENTRIES: The top 8 finalist schools will receive classroom copies of the Literature-Based Mock Trial curriculum as well as a civics library for their school.
young female students answer judge's questions

Students answer a judge’s questions about what they learned from doing research for their essay

students act out their essay in a class skit

Finalists’ essays use acting, music, poetry, rap, and media to express their views