Gender, mental rotations, and introductory physics, at Portland, OR, Thursday, July 22, 2010
    In this talk we examine an often-cited claim for gender differences in STEM participation: cognitive differences on tests of spatial ability explain achievement differences in physics. We specifically investigate the role of mental rotations in physics achievement and problem-solving, viewing mental rotations as a tool that students can use on physics problems. We first look at student survey results for lower-level introductory students, finding a small, but significant correlation between performance on a mental rotations test and course achievement. In contrast, we find no such... Read more about Gender, mental rotations, and introductory physics