June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Three-dimensional spatial skills have been shown to be critical to success in variety of STEM fields. In particular, spatial skills have been linked to success in engineering and in learning to program in computer science. Unfortunately, of all cognitive processes, 3-D spatial skills exhibit some of the most robust gender differences, favoring males, which could have serious implications as we attempt to increase gender diversity in our engineering programs. Spatial skills are not usually a part of the formal instruction in the pre-college classroom, meaning that many of our students enroll in our engineering programmes deficient in these skills. A course for developing 3-D spatial skills has been offered at various universities in the US over the past two decades. Outcomes for this course include improved grades and graduation rates for the students who participate in it, particularly for the women. Based on these successes at the university level, attempts are being made to incorporate spatial skills training into pre-college classrooms. The authors are involved in a collaborative study regarding the impact of spatial skills training at the pre-college level. This paper describes the study and also outlines key findings to date. The implications for engineering access and success will be discussed.
Power, J. R., & Sorby, S. A., & Veurink, N. L., & Atit, K., & Carr, M. (2017, June), Preparing Students for Engineering Success through Improving 3-D Spatial Skills Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28755
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