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Spatial ability plays an important but often unacknowledged role in achieving success in science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) education. Many entering STEM disciplines have low spatial skills but these can be improved through a short training course. Accompanying improvements in academic grades and retention rates have been observed by others. This presents an opportunity to enhance the first year experience (FYE) for those with poor spatial skills. In this study the spatial skills of students entering several first year programmes in science and engineering were measured. Those identified as weak visualisers were offered a spatial skills course. Spatial skill post testing data were collected and correlations between academic grades and spatial ability were determined. No significant difference was found in the post test spatial scores of weak visualisers who attended and did not attend the course, nor was a significant difference found between the academic grades of weak and strong visualisers at the end of the first semester.
Duffy, G. et al. (2015). The effects of spatial skills and spatial skills training on academic performance in STEM education. The 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES 2015), Dublin, Ireland, July 13-15.