Civics contest offers cash prizes to students


The 2018 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest offers high school students in the western United States and Pacific islands a chance to win cash prizes while learning how the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution has helped shape their education.

The theme of the contest is “The 14th Amendment 150 Years After Ratification: What Does Equal Protection Mean to Students?” Students are asked to write an essay and/or produce a video focusing on how Congress and the federal courts have applied the Equal Protection Clause to education. The contest is open to young people in Montana and eight other western states, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Students in grades 9-12 in public, private and parochial schools or home-schooled students of equivalent grade status may enter.

The contest is cosponsored by the Courts and Community Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit and the federal courts in the 15 judicial districts that make up the circuit. A total of $7,000 in cash prizes will be awarded. The top three finishers in both the essay and video competitions will receive $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. In addition, the first-place winners, along with a parent or guardian, will be invited to the 2018 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Anaheim, California.

Many of the participating federal courts are sponsoring local contests offering additional prizes. Winners at the local level become finalists in the circuit contest.

The U.S. Courts for the District of Montana are conducting a local contest for students in the state. Winners will receive prizes of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. For more information about the district contest, please contact: Kelsey Hanly (406) 829-7154 /

Contest rules and information are available at: Entries will be accepted beginning Feb. 1. The deadline for entries will be April 1. Local contest winners will be announced in May and the Ninth Circuit winners in June.



How much time do you spend using a computer or smart phone during a typical day?