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Contact: Kevin Walker,, (913) 766-7602

Three Overland Park students earn top spots in Kansas Civics Bee

Overland Park, Kan., May 10, 2024 – Last night, three Overland Park middle school students took first, second, and third place in the Kansas Civics Bee competition in Wichita. The first-place winner will now move on to the National Civics Bee in Washington, D.C.

The participating students included:

  • Rishaan Panchal – first place winner, and a sixth grader at Oxford Middle School
  • Pranjal Adhikari – second place, and eighth grader at Lakewood Middle School
  • Caleb Bonnema – third place, and seventh grader at Blue Valley Middle School

About the competition:

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation– The National Civics Bee was initiated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help students become effective citizens, to increase support for democracy and to combat polarization. The competition was tested in five states in 2022, and now in 2024 has 28 participating states.
  • Kansas Civics Bee – This was the first year Kansas participated in the National Civics Bee. The Kansas State Finals of the National Civics Bee featured middle school student finalists from four local competitions hosted by participating chambers in Hutchinson, Overland Park, Pittsburg, and Wichita.
  • Qualifications – The Local Civics Bee was open to all middle school students in Kansas and sponsored by the Overland Park Chamber Foundation. Students were selected based on 500-word essays identifying a problem in their community and suggesting a solution. Finalists were then tested in the live local competition about government and American history. The final round discussed their essays. The top three local finalists competed in the Kansas Civics Bee with a similar format. The audience also gets to play along and test their civic knowledge.
  • Showing Support – “The Overland Park Chamber of Commerce congratulates Rishaan, Pranjal, and Caleb, who placed first, second, and third place at the state level. They, along with the competitors from the other communities, did an excellent job of talking about how the principles of civics could be used to address critical issues in our communities, said Kevin Walker, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer for the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce. “We wish the best of luck to Rishaan as he goes on to Washington D.C. to represent Kansas in the national competition. We want to thank everyone who participated in the first year of this competition, and we are looking forward to hosting it again next year!”

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