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Icon for: Sheryl Sorby

SHERYL SORBY

University of Cincinnati

Enhancing Middle School Mathematics Achievement through Spatial Skills Instru...

R305A17640-17A

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate

The ability to visualize in three dimensions is a cognitive skill that has been shown to be important for success in STEM fields. In particular, the ability to mentally rotate 3-D objects is especially important. Unfortunately, of all the cognitive skills, 3-D rotation abilities exhibit robust gender differences, favoring males. The assessment of 3-D spatial skills and associated gender differences has been a topic of educational research for nearly a century; however, a great deal of the previous work has been aimed at merely identifying differences. With initial NSF funding in 1993, for more than two decades, Sheryl Sorby has been conducting research aimed at identifying practical methods for improving 3-D spatial skills, especially for women engineering students. This video details the significant findings obtained over the past several years through this research and identifies strategies that appear to be effective in developing 3-D spatial skills and in contributing to student success.

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