Nine area schools are sending participants to the 19th annual Pa. Citizen Bee May 2 at the Carbon County Courthouse.

The Bee is an educational outreach program sponsored by The Times News.

The competition tests participants' knowledge of U.S. history, economics, geography, Pa. studies, local history and current events.

Schools participating are Carbon Career & Technical Institute, Jim Thorpe, Marian Catholic, Northern Lehigh, Palmerton, Lehighton, Panther Valley, Tamaqua and Weatherly.

Citizen Bee contestants participate individually, first completing a 30-minute written exam followed by five rounds of oral questions. Cash prizes of $300, $200, $100 and $100 will be presented.

The public is invited to attend. The oral round of questions generally begins around 7:15 p.m. Registration begins at 6 p.m. The written exam begins at 6:30.