To provide a range of creative activities that explore physical science principles and construction technology, thus encouraging "viewers" to become "doers" in the process of science and engineering. Specifically, the educational outreach aimed to give program participants:
- A heightened awareness of the built environment and the scientific and engineering principles on which it rests
- A deeper understanding of the historical background of some of the world's major construction types
- A more positive attitude toward science, math, and engineering and the applied aspects of these disciplines
- A deeper understanding of the impact of engineering and technology on the environment and surrounding communities
- A new openness toward career possibilities.
Middle school youth, in formal and informal educational settings, and their families. Two subsets of this group -- girls and minorities -- were targeted for special attention, as they have traditionally fared poorly in science and math.
Building Big educational outreach activities addressed national content standards for science, math, and technology.
For middle school science, the project addressed aspects of the following:
- Content Standards A: Science as Inquiry
- Content Standards B: Physical Science
- Content Standards E: Science and Technology
- Content Standards F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Content Standards G: History and Nature of Science
For math, it addressed aspects of geometry, measurement, problem solving, connections, and representations. For technology content standards, it addressed aspects of the nature of technology, technology and society, design, abilities of a technological world, and the designed world.
A full description of the standards addressed can be found in the Building Big educators' guide.