Short term memory can also be impacted by how much work is done with the items on the bench. This is called "working memory". Some people have a working memory that is strong enough that thoughts can easily be worked on, manipulated, re-organized, and built upon. People with a strong working memory can easily "work with" the information. For instance, they may be able to mentally re-organize a list of tasks, may be able to adjust ideas based on new information that they take in, or be able to create new ideas from what they already know. People with weak working memory may be able to keep information on their "work bench". Their short term memory may be fine, but their working memory is week and the entire "work bench" collapses under the stress. People with weak working memory have trouble thinking about what they hear, they have difficulty generating new ideas, and may forget things easily when they do more than just repeat back with they see or hear.
Short term and working memory can be improved on with consistent practice with simple techniques. I often address challenges in working memory in my Educational Therapy sessions. There are also brain-training programs that address weaknesses in Short Term and Working Memory.
With my Cognitive Analysis Program and Psycho-Educational Evaluations I am able to give parents powerful information about how their child learns, including their "work bench" capacity.