The increasing demands of American higher education have led many in academia to form collaborative teams, striving to work smarter to establish communities of practices. This grassroots effort has allowed the faculty at a research university to initiate a large scale research project encompassing varied research interests and providing opportunities to dialogue about other aspects of science education. One collaborative team of educators was created to develop and implement a research project focused on middle school students' spatial-visualization abilities. This project serves as a model to improve the science teacher education programs at a research university.
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