Individual differences in cognitive skills such as spatial thinking and relational reasoning can serve as barriers to STEM learning and may contribute to gender differences in STEM learning. How do students visualize and represent scientific concepts in their mind? What processes do we use to understand visualizations? How can classrooms support spatial thinking?
Intrinsic motivations such as curiosity and interest are critical for sustained inquiry in science and mathematics. What neurological and physiological changes take place when students are curious? How does curiosity develop? Why are some individuals more curious than others?