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STEM Ed Announcement: Developing Students Spatial Skills in General Chemistry

The UMass STEM Ed Institute Presents: Tuesday STEM Seminars
 *** Note room change to Hasbrouck 113 ***
 April 28
 Debbie Carlisle
 PhD, Education
 Developing Students' Spatial Skills in General Chemistry
 The study of chemistry requires the understanding and use of spatial
 relationships, which have been shown to be challenging for many
 students. This study implemented guided activities designed to
 strengthen students' spatial skills, with the aim of preparing students
 for advanced study in chemistry and other future STEM coursework. A
 pre/post quasi-experimental design was employed in which the
 experimental (n = 209) and control group (n = 212) were administered a
 pre and post-test. The results of a one-way ANOVA confirmed that
 student performance differed significantly between groups, indicating
 that the guided activities were successful in strengthening students'
 ability to reason with spatial information. In particular, the results
 indicate that students improved their ability to identify symmetry
 planes, visualize in 3D, mentally rotate molecules, and translate
 between 2D representations and 3D molecular models. The results also
 suggest that a large amount of class time need not be devoted to
 enhance students skills, and that a diverse group of students can be
 trained together effectively without the need  to separate high and low
 ability individuals
 STEM seminars are held at 4PM on the first and third Tuesdays of each
 month during the academic year in Hasbrouck 113. Everyone is welcome; no
 reservations are needed, and there is no charge. 
 Parking is available in the Campus Center Garage.
 Marie Silver
 Program Manager
 STEM Ed Institute
 237 Hasbrouck Lab, Umass
 Amherst, MA 01003

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