by Brianna Crandall — April 6, 2016—In March, the National Institute of Building Sciences and its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Program rolled out a new Building Sciences Career Center on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide Web site to help inspire high school students to become interested in a career in the building industry.
Today’s buildings-related professionals and tradespeople make use of a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, including building information modeling (BIM), computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), smart controls and renewable energy systems (such as solar photovoltaics and wind) to deliver high-performance buildings, points out the Institute.
Yet, finding professionals skilled in these areas is increasingly becoming a challenge for many sectors in the building industry, says NIBS. The current buildings-related workforce in the United States is aging; the retirement of a significant number of industry professionals is imminent; and other fields already are competing for today’s capable students. The need to reach out and educate the next generation of professionals is becoming increasingly imperative.
The National Institute of Building Sciences, Total Learning Research Institute (TLRI) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began developing the Building Sciences Career Center to support the Mars City Facility Operations (Ops) Challenge, which serves to familiarize students with buildings, building systems and Mars.
The Mars Ops Challenge uses an introductory curriculum that puts students in charge of operating a virtual base on Mars using the same software tools that facilities managers currently use in the field. The Mars City Facility Ops Challenge team developed the Building Sciences Career Center to introduce students to potential career opportunities in the building industry.
Hosted on the WBDG, one of the largest, most comprehensive online resources in the building industry, the Building Sciences Career Center features interviews with a dozen industry professionals who represent various disciplines from across the industry, and offers materials and planning tools to assist students in identifying a pathway for education and employment in the industry.
Both the Mars City Facility Ops Challenge and the Building Sciences Career Center will feature prominently at the National Institute of Building Sciences booth during the USA Science and Engineering Festival, to be held April 16-17 in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about opportunities to sponsor the STEM Program or to participate in the Building Sciences Pavilion at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, contact Ryan Colker.
To learn more about building science-related careers, visit the Building Sciences Career Center.