Gaia 3D Software to remedy student maths deficiencies

3D hydro plant

A House of Lords report has highlighted a maths skills shortage in science graduates that will have a direct impact on economic growth.

On 24 July 2012, The House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology published its review of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, uncovering a severe deficiency in maths competence that Lords believe could negatively impact economic growth if left unremedied. ”If the UK is unable to fill today’s vacancies with high-quality STEM graduates and postgraduates, there is little chance that the economic growth that the UK needs in the future will materialise,” the report states.

In a related report,  The Government’s 2011 Plan for Growth asserted the importance of STEM subjects on the nation’s economy: “In international rankings of excellence in maths, we’ve fallen from eighth to twenty-eighth, and in science from fourth to sixteenth … We literally cannot afford to go on like this.”

Remedial maths lacking at Higher Education level
The lack of basic maths skills is evident in students entering Higher Education. Professor Brian Cantor, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, told the Lords: “We have to give maths remedial classes, often even to triple-A students.” Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, echoed Professor Cantor’s statement, saying: “I think that in pretty much every university the issues over maths skills apply.”

Lords action for maths
The House of Lords is calling for immediate action, recommending that the Government makes maths study compulsory for all students post-16, and maths to A2 level required for students planning to study STEM subjects in Higher Education. Lords also recommend “excellent training … within the (teaching) profession” and the use of new technologies “in order to make STEM careers and subject choices more accessible to students, parents and teachers.”

New technologies and 3D visualisation
In a study of new technologies – specifically 3D visualsation learning – students’ overall academic results improved by 86%. Professor Anne Bamford, Director of the International Research Agency, researched 740 students in seven countries to culminate in “The 3D in Education White Paper”, which stated: “Under experimental conditions, 86% of pupils improved from the pre-test to the post-test in the 3D classes, compared to only 52% who improved in the 2D classes.” The project also reported improved individual test scores, with an average of 17% improvement in the 3D classes, compared with 8% improvement in the 2D classes.

Subject interrelation and visual learning
Professor Snowden expressed concern with the “lack of depth” in the maths studied at most schools, while Imperial College London criticised the current approach to maths that do “not encourage students to retain knowledge or to think critically about how the various parts of their subject interrelates.” Professor Bamford’s research studied the impact of 3D visual learning on students’ ability to comprehend interconnected concepts: “Visual learning improves the pupils’ understanding … by seeing the whole of something, children are able to understand the parts.” Professor Bamford also pointed out that students found 3D Learning to be “more engaging and fun” with students commenting that “it doesn’t feel like school.”

3D Learning in the classroom
Shelfield Academy was the first school in the UK to use 3D interactive software in the classroom. Working with Gaia Technologies, Shelfield reported that 3D technology enabled students to learn at a faster pace. Lisa Barton, Shelfield’s Head of 3D Learning said: “Our students have really engaged in 3D so we are working very closely with the Gaia team to create new resources to enhance our overall curriculum.”

Investor Relations | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Accessibility