Date of Award

5-2024

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Rachel Gisewhite

Committee Chair School

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 2

Dr. Sherry Herron

Committee Member 2 School

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 3

Dr. Richard Mohn Jr.

Committee Member 3 School

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 4

Dr. Kendrick Buford

Committee Member 4 School

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 5

Dr. John Harris

Committee Member 5 School

Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Abstract

Mathematics education faces significant challenges with declining ACT scores, national math proficiency rates, and a prevalent dislike for the subject among high school students. Spatial thinking ability, crucial for success in STEM fields, intersects with mathematical comprehension, suggesting a potential avenue for improvement. This study addresses these challenges by integrating 3D printing technology into secondary mathematics instruction. Employing a quasi-experimental quantitative research design, the study evaluates the impact of 3D printers on ACT math scores, spatial abilities, and attitudes toward mathematics. Results from ANOVA tests indicate marginal increases in spatial test scores and positive shifts in students' interest, self-confidence, and motivation, albeit not statistically significant enough to attribute to 3D printing solely. However, significant differences appeared in the subset of motivation within attitudes towards mathematics. Further research is warranted to explore the efficacy of 3D printers in math classrooms, echoing previous studies' calls for innovative teaching strategies to enhance mathematical and spatial abilities, ultimately fostering greater student engagement and confidence in mathematics education.

Available for download on Saturday, June 01, 2024

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