The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce announced this week that it will again host the Rio Rancho Civics Bee.

The Rio Rancho Civics Bee is one of many pilot National Civics Bee competitions promoted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. At least 1,000 local middle school students will participate in a first-round essay competition. Judges will select 20 to go to the final round: a live quiz event testing civics knowledge. Winners will be recognized in their communities and receive prizes.

Lincoln Middle School seventh grader Auburn Eichers won the first regional civics bee, held in the Rio Rancho Public Schools administration building, in April and won $500.

The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce also sponsored that regional competition.

Middle school students with an idea about using civics to solve a problem in their community should review the rules and guidelines of the contest, complete the submission form, including contact information for parents or guardians, and submit a  500–word essay for consideration.

Essays can be submitted from Nov. 13 to Jan. 8. The regional prizes are $500 for first place, $250 for second and $125 for third. The prizes double for the state competition, and state finalists who advance to the national competition will compete for more than $50,000 in prizes.

“This is a great opportunity for the kids to learn civics and expand their knowledge in civics,” Jerry Schalow, president and CEO of the RRRCC, said. “It’s an opportunity for kids to understand that what we do impacts the community.”