New Tools for Spatial Intelligence Education: the X-Colony Knowledge Discovery Kit

Author:Sorin Alexe, Gabriela Alexe, Consuela Voica, Cristian Voica
Educating Integral Innovators in a European Academic Network
Educating Integral Innovators in a European Academic
New Tools for Spatial Intelligence Education:
the X-Colony Knowledge Discovery Kit
Sorin Alexe1, Gabriela Alexe2, Consuela Voica3, Cristian Voica4
Abstract. This study introduces a new framework for developing spatial education programs based on a
geometric language and manipulation of ensembles of polyhedra, called X-Colony Knowledge Discovery Kit
(KDK). The KDK main goals are to develop spatial intelligence, creativity, strategic planning, forecasting
skills, abstract reasoning, self-confidence, and social skills. Landmark studies document that spatial education
plays a central role in driving performance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
occupations, yet spatial education is under-studied and the infrastructure for research on spatial learning is at
the beginning. KDK introduces a novel geometric language that allows visual communication and develops
spatial abilities by engaging students to perform creative paper folding and various mental spatial
transformations. KDK is organized in program sessions consisting of cooperative open -end paper
construction activities that engage students to build modular constructions of gradual complexity and to
explore various strategies for combining the constructs into novel configurations. KDK supports the Core
Math Standard and Science curricula and provides stud ents the opportunity to discover connections between
mathematics, science and various other disciplines. A pilot case-control study conducted with fifth grade
students indicates an average increase of 17% in geometric reasoning after 8 hours of KDK activities.
Keywords: Spatial Intelligence; Creativity; Geometric Language; Knowledge Discovery Kit KDK; Modular
Paper Constructions
JEL Classification: I250
1. Introduction
Landmark research studies document that spatial education at early age plays a central role in
achieving performance in school and in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
occupations in the information age (Frick, et al., 2014; Jirout, et al., 2015; Newcombe, 2010; Kell, et
1 Director Research and Educational Programs, De Novo Puzzles, USA, Address: Princeton Jct, NJ, USA, Corresponding
2 Research Fellow/Adjunct Associate Professor in Bioinformatics, Harvard Medical School and Boston Univ., Boston, MA,
USA, Address: 25 Shattuck St, Boston, MA 02115, USA, Tel.: +1 617-495-1000, E-mail:
3 Teacher, Herastrau Middle School, Bucharest, Romania, E-mail:
4 Associate Professor, University of Bucharest, Romania, Address: 14 Academiei Str. , 010014 Bucharest, Romania, Tel.:
+4021 315 9249, E-mail:

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