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  1. Nhi Dinh
  2. Lab Manager
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Georgetown University
  1. Rob Cortes
  2. Research Coordinator
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Georgetown 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
Facilitators’
Choice

Neural and cognitive strengthening of conceptual knowledge and reasoning in c...

NSF Awards: 1661065

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

Spatial thinking is a powerful driver of success in the STEM classroom and workforce. Seeking to identify mechanism of spatial learning, our project will collect functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioral data of high school students before and after learning in a geoscience course that uses a novel spatially-based curriculum. We will use neural representations of a group of specially trained teachers as an expert standard to determine neural markers of students’ conceptual knowledge and spatial reasoning. Since fostering the true conceptual understanding in the minds of students, not just the right answers on the test, is a goal of teachers in every STEM classroom; we are interested in looking at the neural representation of conceptual development and understanding. We also aim to see whether students utilize the spatial thinking skills they learn in the geospatial semester to solve complex reasoning problems.

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