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Lessons Learned in Engaging Engineering Students by Improving Their Spatial Visualization Skills

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Spatial Visualization

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.894.1 - 25.894.9



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Paper Authors


Yaomin Dong Kettering University

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Yaomin Dong is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky in 1998. Dong has extensive R&D experience in automotive industry and holds multiple patents. Dong’s areas of expertise include
metalforming processes, design with composite materials, and finite element analysis.

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Lessons Learned in Engaging Engineering Students by Improving Their Spatial Visualization SkillsAbstractResearch has shown that students with enhanced spatial visualization skills, the ability to see andthink in 3-D, are more successful in engineering, technology, computer science, chemistry andmathematics courses. These skills can be developed with training and practice. XXX (for blindreview) University is one of the 10 selected schools in the NSF – ENGAGE Group( The three main themes of the ENGAGE grant areFaculty Interaction, Everyday Engineering Examples, and Spatial Visualization. This paperpresents lessons learned in an approach to improve students’ spatial visualization skills forincreased student success. The proposed methodology includes two steps: identifying studentswho should receive remediation in spatial visualization and improving the existing EngineeringGraphics course offerings. An online test to assess students’ spatial visualization skills created byPurdue University, a partner school in the ENGAGE project, was given to all engineering andscience freshman students at XXX University. Based on the results, all students who scoredlower than 60% will be recommended to take a spatial visualization course which will bedeveloped as one of the deliverables in the NSF-ENGAGE grant. In addition, by testing students’spatial visualization skills before and after the existing initial Engineering Graphics course,several improvements were implemented. The enhancements to the existing EngineeringGraphics course are discussed.

Dong, Y. (2012, June), Lessons Learned in Engaging Engineering Students by Improving Their Spatial Visualization Skills Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21651

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