Federal Judges Association Civics Challenge
In celebration of Constitution Day on September 17 and Law day on May 1, the Federal Judges Association (FJA) has created an annual “Civics Challenge.” Offered to high-school students across the country, the FJA seeks to increase civic engagement, knowledge of United States history and government, and appreciation for our country’s citizenship process.
Students in grades 9 through 12 will have the opportunity to take the Civics Test given to individuals seeking U.S. citizenship. The Civics Test is administered to applicants who apply for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process and is one of the statutory requirements for naturalizing. Applicants must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, principles, and form of government of the United States.
The participating teacher should email the FJA Executive Director, Jennifer Brinkley, at [email protected] that the students in the class will be participating. The participating teacher should access the study materials and the Civics Test for the students. This program will run year-round with two deadlines of May 1 or December 31 each year. Each participating teacher should provide the students with study materials and discuss the topics. Students can thereafter take the Civics Test. The teacher will then grade each Civics Test and email FJA Executive Director, Jennifer Brinkley of each student who received a score of 90% or higher. Each student who received a score of 90% or higher will receive an “Excellent Citizen” certificate for his/her work and will be invited to attend a local naturalization ceremony.
Civics Challenge Rules:
- Open to any high-school student, grades 9 through 12;
- Any high-school teacher can agree to administer and grade the Civics Test;
- The Civics Test must be given, graded, and results submitted by the participating high- school teacher to FJA Executive Director, Jennifer Brinkley by no later than May 1 for spring semeter or December 31 for fall semester;
- The student must score 90% or higher on the Civics Test, as determined by the participating high-school teacher;
- The “Excellent Citizen” certificate will be mailed to the participating high-school teacher;
- Students who score 90% or higher on the Civics Test, as determined by the participating high-school teacher, will have a potential opportunity to be invited to attend a federal court naturalization ceremony in their home judicial district before a federal judge.
The resources and practice tests for each teacher are available on the USCIS site:
For teachers unfamiliar with a naturalization ceremony, resources include a podcast for teachers. The Civics Test with 100 Questions and Answers can be found here:
Photo by Dave Sherrill