Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
NSF Grantees Poster Session
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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