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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v7.i2.50
20 pages

A COURSE IN SPATIAL VISUALIZATION AND ITS IMPACT ON THE RETENTION OF FEMALE ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Sheryl A. Sorby
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan 49931, USA

ABSTRACT

Spatial visualization skills have been shown to be important to success in engineering and other technical fields. Unfortunately, the 3-D spatial skills of women often lag behind those of men. At Michigan Technological University, a special course designed to enhance 3-D spatial skills has been offered for several years. Development and improvements to this course have been supported by the National Science Foundation through a series of grants. This article outlines the efforts at improving spatial skills undertaken at Michigan Tech since 1993 and presents results from this project as they relate to the retention and overall success of female engineering students.