SENECA - Nearly 100 students from 25 schools competed last Saturday in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation’s Civics Games regional competitions.
The teams, each comprising up to four students, faced off head-to-head to answer questions about the state budget, local elections, legislative term limits, quorums and other civics-related issues. Competitions were held at UW-Platteville, UW-Eau Claire, Barron County, UW-Green Bay and UW-Madison.
Ten teams — the two top-scoring teams from each region — advance to the Wisconsin Civics Games championship on Feb. 23 at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.
Locally, the UW-Platteville regional winners who will advance are from Cassville and Platteville. Seneca High School participated, but was eliminated in the regional competition, when they lost to Platteville High School in the second round. Seneca started by soundly defeating Belleville High School in the first round.
Platteville defeated Cassville in the first round and again in the championship round. In addition to losing to Platteville, Cassville was able to triumph over LaCrosse Logan in the first round. Because of tie-breaking criteria, Seneca was never able to face Cassville.
In Madison later this month one of 10 qualified teams will win the Wisconsin Civics Games Championship. Each member of the state championship winning team will receive a $2,000 scholarship to a Wisconsin college or university.
The WNA Foundation Board of Directors hopes the Civics Games, which were launched in an effort to address a decline in civic education and engagement, will inspire a new generation of leaders to become involved in the political process.
The Region 4 competition, which was set to take place at UW-Milwaukee, was canceled Thursday after school disruptions caused by this week’s frigid temperatures prompted several schools to withdraw from the competition.
Only two schools remained: Big Foot High School and Muskego High School, both of which will advance to the finals.
The WNA Foundation would like to thank all of the Civics Games sponsors, volunteers, judges, newspapers and participating schools who have helped make the inaugural event a reality.
The Games are done in partnership with WisconsinEye, Wisconsin Policy Forum, the Girl Scout Councils of Wisconsin, and five UW campuses: UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay, UW-Platteville and UW-Eau Claire, Barron County.
Civics Games sponsors include the Evjue Foundation, Center for the Study of Institutions & Innovation, League of Wisconsin Municipalities, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Local Government Institute of Wisconsin, Polco.us, Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership, Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies and the Wisconsin Counties Association.