Throughout history there have been scientists and leaders in thought that we’ve all admired and attempted to emulate. Known for their radically different ideas and seemingly boundless genius their concepts have shaped the way we live and function as a society. But one question that always comes to mind is why are these heralded few any different from the rest of us? What makes them able to come up with these incredible ideas? One common denominator between people like Albert Einstein and structure of DNA developers, Watson and Crick, was their powerful spatial thinking abilities.
“The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of though” Albert Einstein once said, “There are more or less clear images”.
Posthumous research on Einstein’s brain confirmed that his parietal cortex, which is the area of the brain used for mathematical and spatial thought, was unusually large, and could very well be part of the reason he was able to conceive of the universe in innovative ways. Scientists routinely employ spatial thought across the disciplines.
“Geoscientists visualize the processes that affect the formation of the earth. Engineers anticipate how various forces may affect the design of a structure. And neurosurgeons draw on MRIs to visualize particular brain areas that may determine the outcome of a surgical procedure.”
Spatial thought or the ability to negotiate shapes, their relations and their potential courses or movements when manipulated is an important trait to possess in order to pursue and work in the sciences. We’re seeing schools adapting rapidly to encourage and cultivate this form of learning by using 3D modeling software as well as 3D Printing, putting the students in charge of visualizing and creating their own models. Stereoscopic 3D fits perfectly into this evolving kind of mentally interactive classroom. Students can not only create and print their own 3D models, but they can view them from every angle, zoom in and out all in Stereoscopic 3D.
As more and more STEM schools spring up and schools look to align themselves to STEM principles to shape the future mathematicians and scientists of the world, 3D has emerged as a proven way to help not only engage students in math and science but increase their retention and improve their spatial thinking abilities.
Test your spatial abilities with the below quiz: