STEM Program Serves to
Get Students Interested in Building Sciences
Buildings of the future will include more technology and
advanced materials than ever before. To ensure the building industry will have
a workforce with the necessary skills to design, construct, operate and manage
the high-performance buildings of the future, the National Institute of
Building Sciences (Institute), Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) and the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are working together to
bring building sciences into the classroom.
TLRI and NASA currently have an initiative called Mars City,
which teaches science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts in the
context of conducting experiments on Mars. This imaginary city, simulated on
the surface of the Red Planet, provides students with the necessary laboratory,
living and learning spaces for such experiments. To expand the students’
learning experience to encompass building sciences, the Institute, TLRI an NASA
are beginning to develop a Facility Operations Module for Mars City. Within the
Operations Module, students will function as teams to operate and maintain the
simulated facility, using such real-world tools as building information
modeling (BIM) and a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
Now is the time to learn about this exciting new program,
which serves to inspire K-12 students to get involved in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities specifically related to the
building sciences. The Institute will host a webinar on March 20, 2013, at 2:00
pm ET, to update interested industry professionals and seek sponsors for this
important educational tool.
Attend the March 20 webinar to hear about the learning
objectives and curriculum of the Mars City Facility Operations Module, the development
of the CMMS environment and scenarios, and the structure for student
participation. Find out about additional activities planned for the project,
such as a potential BIM Storm and the development of career resources for
To date, the Mars City project has largely advanced due to
the efforts of volunteers. However, funding from the building industry is urgently
needed to support activities such as travel expenses to bring design teams
together; software programming to integrate the simulation elements; and hardware
expertise to establish the underlying simulation infrastructure.
Individuals, firms and organizations are encouraged to
sponsor the Mars City initiative, which serves to advance the entire building
community. Donations are tax deductible and sponsors will be recognized on the
Institute’s STEM webpage and in all related materials.