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ERIC Number: EJ1036873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Activities for Students: Connecting Spatial Reasoning Ideas in Mathematics and Chemistry
Raje, Sonali; Krach, Michael; Kaplan, Gail
Mathematics Teacher, v107 n3 p220-224 Oct 2013
Concepts in mathematics are often universally applicable to other fields. A critical aspect for success in high school or college is the ability to transfer content knowledge from one discipline to another. This is especially true for material learned in the sciences and mathematics. Several studies have suggested that strong mathematical skills are necessary for enhanced learning in introductory science coursework in college (Tai, Sadler, and Loehr 2005; Mintzes and Leonard 2006; Lee and Lee 2009). Prior research has shown that familiarity with geometric shapes and spatial reasoning skills is a predictor for developing good problem-solving skills in chemistry (Pribyl and Bodner 1977; Coleman and Gotch 1998; Barnea and Dori 1999). In this article the authors describe two activities used as part of a mathematics workshop designed to encourage high school students to develop connections between mathematical problem solving and its application to other scientific fields. The workshop was conducted as part of a partnership between a university and a nearby high school with a high failure rate on state-mandated mathematics assessments. The focus of the partnership was to enhance college preparation skills for the high school students. The activities were conducted by three university faculty members--two from the mathematics department and one from the chemistry department--and the high school mathematics department chair. These activities will be most beneficial if students' spatial visualization skills are developed in the mathematics and chemistry classrooms simultaneously. If teaching the chemistry and mathematics concepts concurrently is not possible, the mathematics teachers can share this activity with their chemistry colleagues, and each teacher can emphasize the link in the activities for their respective discipline. A bibliography is included.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A