National Science Foundation

This is Developing and Integrating Spatial Mathematics and Engineering Design, a project aimed at developing an integrated STEM education in grades 1-5 by engaging students in spatial mathematics and expression via the design of artistic pattern and machines that move.

Space and geometry are foundational resources for learning across the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. Developing and Integrating Spatial Mathematics and Engineering (DiSME) is a coordinated development and research project that supports the development of spatial reasoning and its potential as a resource for engineering design and mechanistic reasoning by engaging elementary studentsin learning activities focused on the quantification and synthesis of space. The site includes construct maps, which are diagrams that summarize conceptual stepping-stones in children’s development of spatial and mechanistic reasoning; at present, the construct maps available on the site describe developmental milestones in children’s reasoning about the measure of angle, area, length and volume. Curriculum units, organized by major strands of learning (Measurement, Geometry, and Design), are tools to support learning. Each unit features classroom activities, formative assessments, and related resources, including teacher-generated extensions to the curriculum units. The curriculum units that are currently available focus on spatial measurement.