The USA Science & Engineering Festival Takes Building Sciences to the Next Generation

Visit the National Institute of Building Sciences to Take a Virtual Tour of Mars City

March 16, 2018 - Building science can take you from landscapes to skyscrapers, from virtual design to hands-on construction, from sustainability to resilience, from vision to reality, and, in the case of the National Institute of Building Sciences, it can take you on a walk through a virtual base on Mars. Visit the Building Sciences Pavilion at the 5th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo, April 7-8, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., and see all the science-related possibilities that exist in the building industry…on Earth and in space. The event is free and open to the public.

Designed to inspire the next generation of inventors, creators and innovators, the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo is a free, family-friendly expo that allows kids and adults to participate in thousands of exhibits, experiments and stage shows.

Stop by to see the National Institute of Building Sciences at Booth #1260 and take a virtual walk through Mars City. Tour the research facility, sleeping rooms, bathrooms, food production station, manufacturing area and even the Mars Rover garage, all by wearing three-dimensional (3D) oculus rift goggles and virtually walking through the Mars City building information model (BIM).

The exhibit, which is geared toward introducing middle school and high school students to the building sciences, is part of the Mars City Facility Operations (Ops) Challenge, which puts students in charge of operating the Mars City base. The Institute’s booth is just one of more than a dozen booths in the Festival’s Building Science Pavilion, all highlighting career opportunities in the building sciences.

Many people in the building industry are concerned about whether a robust and qualified science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce will continue to be available as the current baby boom generation retires. Recognizing the growing need for an engaged and knowledgeable buildings workforce, the National Institute of Building Sciences worked with Festival organizers and building industry organizations to develop the Building Sciences Pavilion to highlight the exciting opportunities within the buildings industry.

The grand finale of the Festival’s year-long science celebration, the Festival Expo will be open Saturday, April 7, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday, April 8, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Filling the entire Washington Convention Center, the Festival Expo features over 3,000 hands-on activities showcasing how STEM Can Take You into the deep blue, into cyberspace, inside the human body, into nature, into buildings, into outer space and beyond! In all, the Festival expects to draw more than 350,000 people.

Be sure to check out other members of the Building Sciences Pavilion on your visit. See the list of Building Sciences Pavilion Participants.

Bring the kids and celebrate science with some of the biggest names in STEM. The event is free of charge and includes hands-on science and engineering activities for people of all ages. To learn more and register in advance, visit

About the National Institute of Building Sciences

The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

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