1) Spatial Skills and STEM Teaching and Learning

This area of work examines how to improve both grade school and
undergraduate students’ STEM learning by bolstering and developing their
spatial skills. Spatial skills enable us to manipulate, organize, reason
about, and make sense of spatial relationships in real and imagined spaces.
For example, they are the set of skills used when navigating from one
location to another, or when trying to assemble furniture using the
manufacturer-provided two-dimensional instructions. Prior research has
established that this set of skills are critical for success in STEM
disciplines. Current studies include understanding whether teachers’
spatial skills influence the development of students’ spatial skills and
examining how spatial skills and motivational factors together predict
undergraduate students' math learning.

2) Multimedia and STEM Teaching and Learning

In this area of work, we examine how to promote STEM learning and
engagement through multimedia learning platforms. With most students today
taking at least one online course during their grade school and
undergraduate education, preparing the next generation of STEM
professionals requires judiciously discerning how online learning can be
leveraged to facilitate student understanding for STEM disciplinary
content. Current studies in this area include comparing the effects of
instruction using virtual models to handheld models on undergraduate
students' chemistry learning.