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Discussion on Program Designed to Engage Students in Building Sciences

3/20/2013
When: March 20, 2013
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Contact: Ryan Colker


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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 students.

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.


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