Ready, Set, Automate! STEM Adventures in Building Automation

Presented by:   Larry Chang   

For many traditional students and adult learners, building automation is either largely unknown or a mystery. What does it mean to "automate" building systems? While this might be easy to describe, it can be difficult for many novices to visualize how it works, much less if it might become a potential career path. To help with student and public outreach, BEST Center faculty Dr. Deb Hall (Valencia College) and Robert Nirenberg (BEST Co-PI, Metropolitan Community College) have created working automated model buildings; with digital controllers and electronic components, these models lend themselves well for hands-on displays and activities. Two variations will be highlighted: one uses a Barbie dollhouse as a ready-made "structure" while the other can be customized from cardboard to simulate a forced air HVAC system. In this session, attendees will watch an entertaining video, be able to ask questions and: - learn about the importance of outreach for building automation - review a detailed list of materials and equipment - receive a list of videos which explain how to assemble and operate the models - understand their potential as recruiting tools for different audiences.