Using a Lunar Base Scenario Context in Business Education

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by Cathleen S. Burns, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,
Sherry K. Mills, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III

Abstract: A practical matter of realizing a lunar colony requires businesses to effectively manage the cost and profitability of space-related products and services. To achieve this objective, the cooperation of a diverse group of managers (i.e., engineering, construction, operations, and accounting) must be enhanced by a better understanding of each other's role in the dynamic process. This paper introduces the first phase of a long-run project to use the education process to improve cooperation among future managers. Using a lunar base scenario based on available engineering, construction and operations in space research, a learning module with seven, 75-minute classes has been developed for a fictional company. Students are required to construct imaginary lunar transportation vehicles. Each class relates management accounting to various decisions relevant in the design, construction, and operation of a lunar-based product. Critical thinking skills and the retention of cost concepts were improved by hands-on experiences during the course. Approximately 400 business students will complete the course in the first year. Project feedback will be used to develop additional outlines for use in the classroom (or modified for corporate training) to familiarize engineering, marketing and production managers with the product costing aspects of their jobs.

Subject Headings: Managers | Education | Team building | Project management | Space construction |

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