SKILLED Centennial Awards Provide a Pathway into the Construction Industry for Missouri Youth

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With labor shortages in the A/E/C industry at an all-time high, S. M. Wilson & Co.’s trademarked construction career education program, SKILLED®, has partnered with the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) to launch the Centennial Awards to inspire the next generation.

The award challenges high school students across the State of Missouri to inspire their local community through science, technology, engineering, art and/or math (STEAM) learning, all with the chance to win $1,000 grand prizes for their creative ideas and achievable plans. 

Students or student groups in an MSBA district are challenged to create a process, lesson, activity or product that engages their community with STEAM learning opportunities. Students will then take their creative ideas and develop a feasible plan to inspire the next generation in their community using STEAM fundamental skills. 

“Exposure to STEAM skills at a young age opens many opportunities for future development and interest in careers in construction and other related industries. It is our hope with the Centennial awards to inspire the next generation to use STEAM learning in ways that specifically support their own communities,” says Kristyn Newbern, Director of Client Development at S. M. Wilson and SKILLED program lead. 

All high school students in good academic standing who attend an MSBA-member district are eligible to submit for a chance to win a $1,000 grand prize. 

Just like real-world programming, a creative idea is just the beginning for the Centennial award entries. Participants will also submit a Project Plan with an anticipated schedule and budget to implement their idea. The Project Plan will also address the details of their concepts including inspiration, impact on the community, goals, audience, location and resources required to implement the project. Students can submit their plans and a short video explaining their ideas to tinyurl.com/CentennialAwards by September 10, 2021.

The Centennial Awards are committed to following an equitable selection and award process. There is no financial cost to entrants and no requirement for travel to be awarded a grand prize. Resources are available to support interested students facing barriers to entry or seeking support in developing their submission. S. M. Wilson, SKILLED and MSBA encourage all interested, eligible students and student groups to enter award submissions. Submissions will be judged on various factors including mission, feasibility and overall project impact. Entries will be awarded bonus points if their program can be repeated, expanded and/or elevated in the future.

The first place Centennial Award winners will receive $1,000 in prize money sponsored by S. M. Wilson and STL.works, a formal Certificate of Award and recognition at the MSBA Annual Conference. The first-place award will also be presented to the district superintendent at the November 5-7, 2021 MSBA Annual Conference in Kansas City. 

MSBA serves as the unified voice of school board members throughout Missouri and provides board member training, comprehensive policy support, legal assistance, superintendent search guidance and other services designed to allow school boards to put maximum resources in the classroom.

S. M. Wilson’s SKILLED program provides hands-on opportunities to integrate academic learning and focus on future employment in the A/E/C industry. S. M. Wilson has been a long-time Affiliate Member of MSBA, and is proud to partner with the organization to create and fund the 2021 Centennial Awards. 

Help bring construction to the classroom and watch students’ ideas come to life. To learn more about inspiring the next generation or to submit an application, please visit tinyurl.com/CentennialAwards.