Spatial Intelligence is a key component for mastering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines. It has been also shown that – developed at young ages – it has a major impact on further career development, as an adult.
According to Howard Gardner, there are 9 types of intelligence:
Some of these categories, like linguistic and logical-mathematical, are extensively thought in school. Most tests, including SAT and IQ tests, focus on these two. Words and numbers can be communicated verbally or in written form, unambiguously. Spatial intelligence is under-thought, apparently for two reasons: it is not easy to create educational content for it, and it is hard to measure spatial skills (sometimes it takes years to make assessments in this area). As thinking in shapes is harder to communicate, and the semantics is not always unambiguous, spatial cognition, spatial intuition and spatial creativity are challenging for educational purposes.
One strong case for spatial intelligence, relative to the standard IQ ones was published in Scientific American journal:
Recognizing Spatial Intelligence, By Gregory Park, David Lubinski, Camilla P. Benbow on November 2, 2010