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  1. Emily Peterson
  2. Post-Doctoral Scientist
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. James Madison University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University
  1. Nhi Dinh
  2. http://nhidinh.net
  3. Lab Manager
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Georgetown University
  1. Adam Green
  2. http://cng.georgetown.edu/
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Georgetown University
  1. Emily Hollenbeck
  2. PhD student
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Northwestern University
  1. Bob Kolvoord
  2. https://www.jmu.edu/isat/people/faculty/kolvoord-bob.shtml
  3. Dean
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. James Madison University
  1. David Kraemer
  2. http://sites.dartmouth.edu/kraemerlab
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Dartmouth College
Facilitators’
Choice

Cognitive and Neural Correlates of School-Based Improvements in Spatial Thinking

NSF Awards: 1420600

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

Spatial thinking is critical for success in STEM fields and presents a barrier to increasing female participation in STEM. This behavioral and neuroimaging study investigates the effects of spatial education embedded in a science class (Geospatial Semester; GSS) on the core spatial abilities and STEM-relevant spatial thinking of high school students. Preliminary results reveal that compared to students participating in other advanced science courses, students in GSS demonstrated greater improvements in cognitive indicators of spatial ability as well as the increased recruitment of brain regions involved in spatial thinking. The effect was strongest in females, suggesting that integrating spatial cognition into STEM lessons may be one way to mitigate commonly identified sex differences in spatial thinking.

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