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STEM Education Program Exceeds Initial Fundraising Goals

Wednesday, January 13, 2016  
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The National Institute of Building Sciences, through its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Program, kicked off a fundraising effort yesterday during Building Innovation 2016: The Institute’s Annual Conference and Expo, being held this week in Metro Washington, D.C., to engage the building community to support the future generation of building professionals.

Within 10 minutes of the call to action, industry professionals surpassed the STEM Program’s initial goal of $5,000. The funding will support development of the Mars City Facility Operations (Ops) Challenge, as well as the STEM Program’s participation at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, to be held April 16-17, 2016, in Washington, D.C. The Institute is hosting the Festival’s Building Sciences Pavilion and is looking to increase the industry’s involvement in the event.

Pledges came in from a number of organizations and individuals, including the Building Innovation 2016 Conference Sponsor, the International Code Council (ICC); the Tuesday Keynote Sponsor, Acuity Brands, Inc.; the Building Innovation 2016 Technical Programs Sponsor, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); The Marshall Group; Beacon Capital Partners; Gilbane Building Company; Rose Grant; Tim Haahs; and Mary Ryan. Additional donations came in from Lenny Kolstoy and Peter Smeallie.

The Institute expressed gratitude to the donors for their support and is now reaching out to the broader building community for additional pledges to expand the goals of the STEM program.

Highlighting its commitment to introducing the next generation to careers in the building sciences, the Institute is looking for industry organizations to participate as exhibitors in the Building Sciences Pavilion at the Festival in April. The Institute is inviting other building industry organizations to get involved in the effort.

The continued availability of a robust and qualified STEM workforce is a concern for many people in the building industry. The USA Science and Engineering Festival brings together interested organizations from across the STEM, as well as the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), spectrums. The Building Sciences Pavilion provides an opportunity for industry groups to highlight both their individual efforts and the importance of the building industry as a whole.

Developed in partnership with the Total Learning Research Institute and NASA, the Mars City Facility Ops Challenge is geared toward introducing high school and community college students to building sciences.

In addition, the Institute will offer materials at the Festival highlighting the numerous disciplines that make up the building industry and the many opportunities for exciting careers, and has organized an industry STEM committee to facilitate the coordination of messaging and content.

Above and beyond the Festival, there are numerous ways for industry organizations interested in getting involved to participate in the STEM effort. From expanding the materials available on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® web portal to adding interviews and information about career opportunities to the Mars City Career Center, the Institute is encouraging industry organizations to take part. The continued availability of a robust and qualified STEM workforce depends on it.

For more information about donating to the Institute's STEM Education Program and participating in the Festival, visit

Building Innovation 2016 runs until Friday, January 15, and is taking place at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, located at 2800 S. Potomac Avenue in Arlington, Virginia. Online registration has closed but onsite registration opens daily at 7:00 a.m. The schedule of events and registration rates are all online. For more information about the Conference, visit

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