Walker Hall Construction

Steven Coxon

Assistant Professor of Education
Steven Coxon

Contact Information

Phone: Work314.529.9567
Maryville University

Professional experience

2010 – present

Assistant Professor of Gifted Education
Director of Gifted Education Programs:

Graduate Programs in Gifted Education
Maryville Summer Science and Robotics Program for High Ability Students
Maryville Young Scholars Program
Expanding FIRST LEGO League to Diverse Students

2009 – 2010

Assistant editor, Journal for the Education of the Gifted
Center for Gifted Education, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

2008 – present

FIRST LEGO League judge and judge advisor (volunteer)
Virginia and Missouri

2008 – 2009

Research assistant to the executive director
Center for Gifted Education, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

2003 – 2008

FIRST LEGO League coach (volunteer)
Christiansburg Elementary School, Christiansburg, VA

2001 – 2008

Fourth and fifth grade classroom teacher
Christiansburg Elementary School, Christiansburg, VA

Current Research

My recent research has provided evidence that the use of LEGO robotics increases spatial ability (Coxon, 2012) and divergent thinking (Kim & Coxon, in press), and I am currently conducting two further studies.

In the first, approximately 100 children ages 5-15 took the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking and the Project Talent Spatial Battery before and after participating in robotics courses. This study has the potential to provide evidence of a correlation between spatial ability and creativity as well as growth within those abilities over the course of treatment.

The second study involves FIRST LEGO League teams started at high poverty schools with grant funding. The study will look at the impact on participants’ creativity and spatial ability over the three months of treatment.

These studies are potentially important in helping educators to combat the national decline in creativity and to better prepare children to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

Recent Publications

Books and Book Chapters

Coxon, S. V., & Kim, K. H., (accepted, in preparation). Science education for our future STEM innovators: What teachers can do today (working title). Fostering creativity in elementary classrooms: A practical manual.

Kim, K. H., & Coxon, S. V. (in press). The creativity crisis, possible causes, and what schools can do about it. In J. B. Jones. & L. J. Flint (Eds.),  The creative imperative: School librarians and teachers cultivating curiosity together. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Kim, K. H., & Coxon, S. V. (in press). Fostering creativity using robotics among students in STEM fields to reverse the Creativity Crisis. In Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos and John L. Pecore (Eds.), Advances in Creativity and Giftedness Series. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.

Coxon, S. V. (2013). Serving visual-spatial learners. Waco, TX: Prufrock.

Refereed Publications

Coxon, S. V. (2012). Innovative allies: Spatial and creative abilities. Gifted Child Today, 35(4), 277-284.

Coxon, S. V. (2012). The malleability of spatial ability under treatment of a FIRST LEGO League simulation. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 35(3), 291-316.

Coxon, S. V., Bland, L. C., & Chandler, K. (2012). The changing weather: Developing conceptual understanding of weather phenomena in young children. Teaching for High Potential, Winter, 8-9, 13-14. 


Coxon, S. V. (2013). Art, science, and Elmo: STEAM ahead for creativity. Teaching for High Potential, Winter, 17-18.

Coxon, S. V. (2012). Scientifically speaking: They have eyes, but do they see? Teaching for High Potential, Summer, 3, 13.

Coxon, S. V. (2012). Scientifically speaking: Science is a verb. Teaching for High Potential, Spring, 4.

National Presentations

Coxon, S. V. (2012, November). Controllable but ignored: Environmental factors in early childhood that impede school success.  National Association for Gifted Children Annual Convention, Denver, CO.

Coxon, S. V. (2012, November). Robotics for STEM success: Evaluation of a project to start robotics teams in high poverty schools. National Association for Gifted Children Annual Convention, Denver, CO.

Coxon, S. V. (2012, September). Developing creativity for future STEM innovation in young children. American Creativity Association Innovation by Design Conference. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

Coxon, S. V. (2012, April). The Malleability of Spatial Ability Under Treatment of a FIRST LEGO League Competition-based Simulation. American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada.

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