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Board 82: Increasing the Spatial Intelligence of 7th Graders using the Minecraft Gaming Platform

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

4

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30116

Download Count

83

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Paper Authors

biography

Nick Lux Montana State University

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Dr. Nicholas Lux has is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in MSU’s Department of Education. His teaching and research interests are in the area of educational technology.  He has worked in the fields of K-12 and higher education for 18 years, and currently teaches in the Montana State University Teacher Education Program. He has experience in educational technology theory and practice in K-12 contexts and teacher education, with a focus on STEM teaching and learning, technology integration, online course design and delivery, program evaluation, and assessment. Dr. Lux’s current research agenda is STEM teaching and learning in K-12 contexts, technology integration in teacher preparation and K-12 contexts, educational gaming design and integration, and new technologies for teaching and learning.

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biography

Brock J. LaMeres Montana Engineering Education Research Center

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Dr. Brock J. LaMeres is the Director of the Montana Engineering Education Research Center (MEERC) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Montana State University. LaMeres teaches and conducts research in the area of computer engineering. LaMeres is currently studying the effectiveness of online delivery of engineering content with emphasis on how the material can be modified to provide a personalized learning experience. LaMeres is also researching strategies to improve student engagement and how they can be used to improve diversity within engineering. LaMeres received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published over 80 manuscripts and 2 textbooks in the area of digital systems and engineering education. LaMeres has also been granted 13 US patents in the area of digital signal propagation. LaMeres is a member of ASEE, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Montana and Colorado. Prior to joining the MSU faculty, LaMeres worked as an R&D engineer for Agilent Technologies in Colorado Springs, CO where he designed electronic test equipment.

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Bryce E. Hughes Montana State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9414-394X

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Bryce E. Hughes is an Assistant Professor in Adult and Higher Education at Montana State University, and holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a B.S. in General Engineering from Gonzaga University and an M.A. in Student Development Administration from Seattle University. His research interests include teaching and learning in engineering, STEM education policy, and diversity and equity in STEM.

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Shannon D. Willoughby Montana State University

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Abstract

This paper presents a game-based, spatial intelligence training curriculum targeted at emerging 7th graders. The ability to make spatial judgment and visualize has been shown to be a strong indicator of students’ future achievement in STEM-related courses. Spatial intelligence has also been shown to be one of the only areas in which females perform worse than males, with noticeable differences emerging in the middle school years. This spatial reasoning gap can potentially reinforce stereotypes about gender roles in certain male dominated fields such as engineering and computer science, thus exacerbating the lack of gender diversity in the STEM workforce. Luckily, research has also shown that training exercises can close the spatial reasoning gap between males and females. As such, a portable, technology-based spatial training system could have positive impact in improving STEM achievement of all learners, but especially of female students. In this paper, we present a study that uses the Minecraft gaming platform to intentionally improve the spatial intelligence of emerging 7th graders. In this project, we study the impact of the curriculum in a week-long summer camp where a group of 40 students are randomly assigned into a control and experiment group. The control group performs traditional Minecraft gaming activities such as free-builds and scavenger hunts. The experiment group will undertake targeted activities aimed to improve their spatial intelligence (i.e., drawing sliced structures, drawing rotated objects, drawing different perspectives of an object, etc.). The impact of the targeted activities will be measured using pre/post tests at the beginning and end of the week. The tests will use established instruments for measuring spatial intelligence. We hypothesize that the targeted training will improve the spatial intelligence of all learners, but particularly close the gap between boys and girls. This paper will be of interest to teachers and administrators interested in portable, technology-based instructional modules to improve student motivation for STEM. The full paper will describe the design of the curriculum and the assessment instruments. The summer camp will occur after the full paper deadline but before the ASEE conference, so the poster presentation will additionally contain the results from the first camp.

Lux, N., & LaMeres, B. J., & Hughes, B. E., & Willoughby, S. D. (2018, June), Board 82: Increasing the Spatial Intelligence of 7th Graders using the Minecraft Gaming Platform Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30116

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