The Big Build Brings Hands-On Building Fun

On Saturday, November 5, 2022, The Big Build returns to the National Building Museum! This hands-on FREE festival provides opportunities for kids and adults to build, design and construct side-by-side with roofers, plumbers, engineers, designers and artisans while celebrating the world we design and build.

A one-of-a-kind event

The Big Build introduces kids and adults to a wide range of building skills while inspiring curiosity about how we can all take part in planning, creating, constructing and improving the places where we live, work and play.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum’s Great Hall will be filled with dozens of exhibitors ranging from engineering firms to construction companies including Miller & Long, Shapiro & Duncan and the Professional Remodeling Organization – all providing a variety of hands-on activities, including a nail-driving contest and a structural engineering activity with an earthquake simulation. Everyone will have the opportunity to use real tools and even climb inside construction equipment like a crane in the outdoor Petting Zoo!

Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts

Can earn their STEM Career Exploration badges by discovering the many trade career possibilities, speaking with professionals in STEM positions and imagining themselves in their dream jobs.

A Tech Room will have augmented reality demonstrations, virtual reality (VR) experiences and other immersive digital activities to engage older children and teens. Using a mobile phone, visitors will be able to download an app and try Walter P Moore’s VR activity, changing structure type from steel to concrete to wood to see how much energy would be required to create those structures. The International Union of Elevator Constructors will have a VR simulator allowing participants to move a lift around a job site, something that is done daily across the country. By raising the platform in different scenarios, teens will discover the variety of skills needed to complete the task.

The picture book “The House That She Built” by Mollie Elkman & Georgia Castellano, read throughout the day in the Storytime Room, will inspire younger visitors as they watch women – including the architect, carpenter and roofer – working together to build a new home.

Fun, family-friendly events

Like The Big Build are vital to broadening children’s – and their caregivers’- perceptions of educational and professional opportunities related to our built world and inspiring them to be change-makers.

The Big Build will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2022 in the National Building Museum’s expansive Great Hall and outside on the West Lawn, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Big Build at the National Building Museum


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