# News & Discoveries

The National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington,
Virginia 22230, USA

Tel: (703) 292-5111
FIRS: (800) 877-8339
TDD: (800) 281-8749
 Education & Human Resources (EHR)
EHR Home
Funding Opportunities
Awards
News
Events
Discoveries
Publications
Career Opportunities
View EHR Staff
EHR Organizations
Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
Human Resource Development (HRD)
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
 Introduction Proposal Preparation and Submission Grant Proposal Guide Grants.gov Application Guide Award and Administration Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Career Opportunities
Funding Rates
Budget Excerpt
EHR Evaluation Reports
Strategic Re-envisioning For EHR: A report of the EHR Advisory Committee
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

All Images

Discovery
Understanding Basic Concepts in Spatial Measurement

 To help prevent students from having misconceptions about measurement, Jack Smith and his colleagues at Michigan State University (MSU) are analyzing curricula that elementary school teachers and children currently use in schools to learn spatial measurement (length, area and volume).Credit: Thinkstock

 The following example illustrates a misconception when determining the perimeter of a 2-D shape: A student is asked to find the perimeter (the length of the continuous line forming the boundary of a closed geometric figure) of this 2-D rectangle. The student is told that the perimeter of the rectangle can be found by surrounding the rectangle with square tiles, including tiles at each of the four corners. The student claims that the perimeter of the rectangle is 22 tiles. However, the actual perimeter is 18 tiles. The student is not distinguishing the edges of the tiles as length units from the square tiles that are area units--the ability to visualize the difference is crucial in understanding what one is measuring.Credit: Courtesy of Jack Smith, MSU
 Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (29 KB) Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.