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Developing 3-D Spatial Skills for non-engineering & K-12 Students Preliminary Results Paul Charlesworth, Lisa Parolini, & Sheryl Sorby Michigan Technological.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing 3-D Spatial Skills for non-engineering & K-12 Students Preliminary Results Paul Charlesworth, Lisa Parolini, & Sheryl Sorby Michigan Technological."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing 3-D Spatial Skills for non-engineering & K-12 Students Preliminary Results Paul Charlesworth, Lisa Parolini, & Sheryl Sorby Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

2 Slide 2 Introduction Spatial visualization is considered to be one of seven human intelligences and is an active topic in educational research. Based on previous research, two themes emerge:  Well-developed 3-D spatial skills are critical to success in STEM fields, and  The 3-D spatial skills of women typically lag significantly behind their male counterparts.

3 Slide 3 Gender Differences Theories for gender differences:  Recessive characteristic of X-chromosome  Male sex hormone  Environmental factors Truth is likely an interaction of many factors resulting in traditional stereotypes.

4 Slide 4 Spatial Skills Development 1977 Guay. Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Rotations Gimmestad. Pilot study at Michigan Tech using PSVT:R Baartmans and Sorby. NSF-funded textbook for 3-D Spatial Skills Sorby. NSF-funded software for 3-D Spatial Skills NSF-funded Gender Differences Study

5 Slide 5 Non-Engineering Students 95% of MTU’s 6000 students study science, engineering, or technology Study focuses on 170 non-engineering students Student divided based on Purdue pretest  Workbook  Software  Workbook + Software Regression to mean reduced by balancing scores

6 Slide 6 Test Results PSVT:R GainMCT Gain Software Only8.4 (p<0.005) 6.5 (p<0.01) Workbook Only11.6 (p<0.0005) 8.4 (p<0.001) Workbook + Software11.2 (p<0.005) 13.8 (p<0.0005) Comparison Group5.3 (p<0.025) NA

7 Slide 7 Survey Results01 No gender difference (p<0.37) regarding treatment 62% of students preferred software only group Females spent more time on each activity:  <30 mins (Male 40%, Female 21%)  >60 min (Male 9%, Female 35%) Time spent on activity depended on activity:  72% of software group <30 mins  16% of workbook group <30 mins  13% of workbook + software group <30 mins

8 Slide 8 Survey Results02 Male students expressed higher confidence levels: Female students were more positive than males, by expressing higher levels of learning (p=0.03) Confidence LevelMales (n=66)Females (n=29) Not Confident1.5%27.6% Very Confident31.8%0%

9 Slide 9 Conclusions Students made statistically significant gains on tests that measure spatial skills Groups using workbook achieved higher gains compared software alone Gains for software group comparable to control Gender differences in gains were not observed Students preferred the intervention with lowest gains

10 Slide 10 Spatial Skills in K-12 Students Small secondary school in a rural setting At-risk and economically disadvantages students  44% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch Eight grade MEAP scores above state average Eight grade class consists of 37 students Study group consists of 16 students  All honor roll  12 females and 4 males

11 Slide 11 Methodology Students spent 2-3 days each week on a module Each class period was 54 minutes each Teacher previewed each modules introduction Teacher observed and assisted students Students worked in pairs on software & workbook Students evaluated modules upon completion

12 Slide 12 Results Majority of students felt:  That they understood the materials  That they had enough time to complete exercises  Preferred working with both software and workbook  Felt that working together helped Gains in spatial skills (PSVT:R):  Average gain was 20.5%  Statistically significant (t-test, p<0.005)

13 Slide 13 Conclusions & Thanks Spatial visualization training for college students is suitable for a younger audience Amount of time required by 8th grade students was typically longer than college students Results were used to design a full-scale study with middle and high school students (in progress). A new instrument is being developed that combines elements from multiple spatial tests. National Science Foundation Grant: HRD


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