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ERIC Number: ED536652
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 131
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-1121-0
The Malleability of Spatial Ability under Treatment of a FIRST LEGO League-Based Robotics Unit
Coxon, Steven Vincent
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The College of William and Mary
Spatial ability is important to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) success, but spatial talents are rarely developed in schools. Likewise, the gifted may become STEM innovators, but they are rarely provided with pedagogy appropriate to develop their abilities in schools. A stratified random sample of volunteer participants (n = 75) ages 9-14 was drawn from 16 public school districts' gifted programs, including as many females (n = 28) and children from groups traditionally underrepresented in gifted programs (n = 18) as available. Participants were randomly divided into an experimental (n = 38) and a control group (n = 37) for an intervention study. All participants took the CogAT (form 6) Verbal Battery and the Project TALENT Spatial Ability Assessments. The experimental group participated in a simulation of the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition for 20 hours total over five consecutive days. All participants took the spatial measure another time. Experimental males evidenced significant and meaningful gains in measured spatial ability (Cohen's d = 0.87). Females did not evidence significant gains in measured spatial ability. This may be due to sampling error, gender differences in prior experience with LEGO, or differences in facets of spatial ability in the treatment or measurements. Further research studies with larger samples of females, other treatments and measurement tools, and longer treatment periods are recommended. The literature review revealed that FLL is beneficial for STEM engagement in both genders and its use in schools is recommended. The present study provides additional evidence for FLL's usefulness in increasing the number of individuals in the STEM pipeline. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A