Getting Some Space: Using Spatial Language and Spatial Play to Promote Children's Spatial Skills

Worksite Location
NYC area daycares
Faculty Sponsor
Marianella Casasola
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Jennifer Tiffany; Luis Almeyda
Stipend Amount
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Both spatial language and spatial play have been linked to stronger spatial skills in young children. We are currently conducting an enrichment training study in which an experimenter provides spatial language or spatial language plus spatial play to preschool-aged children to examine the impact of these experiences on early spatial skills. We would like to extend this work to daycares outside of the Ithaca area and would like to conduct the study in several daycare centers in NYC this summer.

Roles and Responsibilities

Patricia Donskoy will be based in NYC this summer and will work through CCE to identify possible daycares in which to conduct our enrichment study of spatial language and spatial play with preschool children. We also wish to pilot a study that explores whether the same benefits are evident when parents interact with their children, exploring the degree to which the enrichment training can be implemented as a possible intervention.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CHE freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

The student needs to be fully trained in the current enrichment training study. Patricia has worked in my lab for over one year and has spent the Fall 2014 semester learning to test children in our enrichment training study. The student should have a strong background in developmental psychology, be familiar with key studies on the early development of spatial skills, have sufficiently strong social skills to interact with a variety of individuals (e.g., children, parents, daycare workers, directors of childcare centers), and also be comfortable with basic statistics.

Benefits and Skills

- First-hand experience in conducting research and in particular, in participant training and testing.
- Experience working with daycare centers to recruit participants
- Learning to test children in a variety of spatial tasks and spatial language assessm