Nucor’s steel challenge grand prize winner chosen

Nucor Corporation recently concluded its Strength of Steel Challenge with an awards ceremony in Charlotte.

The Nucor Strength of Steel Challenge launched on February 22, 2011, during National Engineers Week. The Challenge is an effort to encourage middle and high school students to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines as a course of study and career choice.

Currently, students in the United States perform below students from other industrialized countries on international tests of math and science. This presents serious challenges to future economic growth and employment since jobs requiring STEM degrees are projected to increase four times as fast as overall job growth. Nucor recognizes the need for STEM curriculum and associated skills in order to build the talent required to rebuild America’s manufacturing base.

The competition invited middle and high school students ages 12 through 18 from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah to participate. Entrants worked in teams of two to four to create a structure out of recycled steel that could be used to support another object or objects in the home, school or vehicle.

Eight semi-finalist teams were flown to Nucor’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they presented their inventions to Nucor executives in June. The winning team – Jared Knobbe and Steven Fish from Imperial, Nebraska –received the $3,000 Nucor Future Engineers Champion Award. Their teacher, Kim Wilson from Chase County School, was awarded $250.

Nucor worked with By Kids For Kids Co., a leader in youth innovation programs, to develop educational in-school activities for science teachers to inspire their students to learn about steel and its importance in our lives. To learn more about the semi-finalist teams, their inventions and the program, visit