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Pi Day Virtual Field Trip

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Take a Virtual Tour of NIST:
The National Institute of Standards and Technology



To celebrate Pi Day, Discovery Education is taking you behind-the-scenes at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Visit one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories where Pi is integral to the work to develop, use, and apply precise measurements and standards. NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies – nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single strand of hair – to the largest human-made creations—earthquake resistant skyscrapers, jetliners, and global communication networks.


Highlights of the Tour


  • Fire Research Division: NIST engineers use computer models and then burn down actual buildings to develop standards for fire equipment, the size of crews, and fire fighting techniques.
  • Underground labs: There’s a reason NIST has labs located three stories underground. You will find out why and the kind of research that is being done.
  • The 3D Cave: Mathematicians and scientists use 3D glasses in a virtual reality lab to shrink down to the size of a rock and swim with flowing concrete.

Guests from NIST


Jennifer Huergo
Director of Media Relations, Public Affairs

Dr. Craig Weinschenk
Mechanical Engineer, Fire Research Division

Dr. Ronald Boisvert
Director, Applied and Computational Mathematics Division
Dr. Judith Terrill
Lead, High Performance Computing and Visualization Group

Dr. Patrick Abbott
Physicist, Mechanical Metrology Division

Leon Chao
Mechanical Engineer, Mechanical Metrology Division

Classroom Activities


Enhance your students' experience with these carefully crafted classroom activities:



Did you know...

NIST engineers can use computer models to burn down real buildings?

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