If you are like me, you've valued the experiences and relationships you've gathered through your professional participation in the building industry. I'm writing you now with a request to help the National Institute of Building Sciences assure that today's students have the same opportunity for a fulfilling career. As you may have read, the Institute recently began an effort to promote building sciences as an element of the broader effort to engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Our STEM effort incorporates multiple facets designed to engage students in all aspects of the design, construction and operations and maintenance of buildings. Our first activity is in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) to develop a facility management learning module for Mars City, an educational environment developed by TLRI. In addition to the facility management focus, this activity will rely heavily on building information modeling (BIM) and the information exchanges being developed through the Institute. A brief description of this and related efforts is available at the Institute's STEM website.
Additional activities will include adding age-appropriate content on the Whole Building Design Guide and organizing a summit to address the future availability of a skilled workforce.
While we hope that students will consider building-related careers, every student exposed to a building-related STEM program is and will continue to be a building occupant. As the building industry strives for high-performance buildings, the role building occupants play in realizing such goals becomes increasingly obvious.
I hope you or your organization will consider providing technical and financial support to this important activity meant to benefit the entire building community. To find out about volunteer opportunities, please download the STEM committees descriptions. To make a financial contribution, please visit the STEM donation page. All donations to the Institute's STEM Program are tax deductible and we will happily acknowledge all donors and volunteers on the STEM website.
Pending collection of sufficient contributions, the Institute will make a presentation of the STEM Program and the Mars City project during Building Innovation 2013 — the Institute's Annual Conference and Expo, to be held January 7-11, 2013 in Washington, D.C. I hope you will attend.
For additional details on the STEM program and information on how to contribute, please contact Ryan Colker via email or by phone at 202-289-7800, x133.
Thank you in advance for your tax-deductible contribution and your continued support for the development of a strong and dynamic building industry.
Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA