Graduate Commencement

Meaningful Sketching and Meaningful Struggle in STEM Education

Joseph DiNapoli (Co-PI) received the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Grant for $749,933 effective from 9/1/2018 – 8/31/2020.

Posted in: Research Projects

sketching on a tablet
Sketching on a tablet

For decades, sketching and graphical representations have been important in many careers, and their use has increased in areas ranging from computer graphics to medical imaging. Mathematics education is increasingly using sketching to develop conceptual understanding, and sketching is a critical component in STEM for creativity, communication, and development of 3D spatial visualization (SV) skills. The physical act of sketching has been shown to increase the ability to mentally visualize spatial relationships. However, sketching is being left out of the eLearning revolution, and currently relies extensively on multiple-choice questions. This project will develop a learning environment where students can freehand sketch on a touchscreen phone, tablet, or computer. They will receive personalized feedback based on the sketches they draw to improve their conceptual understanding. The software algorithms developed will interpret student sketches and provide hints that help students stay engaged in the zone of meaningful struggle for effective learning. Subject areas include elementary school mathematics, SV for 7-12th grade technical education, postsecondary vocational and engineering programs, and eventually physics, geology, medicine and other STEM areas.

Learn more about the grant