NAEYC 2017 Professional Learning Institute

I presented on the Expanding Repertoires project at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Learning Institute with my colleague Marie Quisumbing (Manager of Early Childhood Initiative at COSI until recently, now with Columbus City Schools, one of our partners on the NSF AISL grant). The PLI was an amazing mix of early childhood educators – university faculty, center directors, state officials, consultants, etc.

Cross-College Seed Grant with Dr. Monique Mills

Dr. Monique Mills (Speech and Hearing Sciences) and I have been awarded a Cross-College Seed Grant for our project ‘Assessing Students’ Narrative Language: Emic and Etic Perceptions”. The study addresses race-based educational disparities and is designed to identify culturally-fair measures of narrative language – a skill that predicts students’ academic outcomes in literacy. The study will identify ways in which the language of school-age Black students is evaluated informally and formally, thereby improving academic assessment of this group.

AISL team members going to NSF REU symposium

lindsay-brian-nsf-reu-conference-smallLindsay Bankole, the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) intern who joined the Expanding Repertoires team in Summer 2016, has been selected to participate in the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates Symposium, 23-24 October  2016. Lindsay will present her interview-based research with families of dual language learners who were visiting COSI. Brian Seilstad, graduate research assistant on the Expanding Repertoires project and Lindsay’s direct supervisor-mentor during the summer internship, will also attend the symposium.

NSF AISL PI 2016 Meeting

Marie Quisumbing (Manager of Early Childhood Initiatives at COSI) and I are attending the bi-annual NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) PI Meeting, February 29 through March 2, in Bethesda, MD. We will present a poster about the Expanding Repertoires project. The meeting is hosted by Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE). Posters and other materials from the meeting are available on, including our poster and notes from the Open Space Session on STEM and Early Childhood Education (which I nominated and facilitated)

NSF AISL Pathways Grant

My COSI partner Jen Cassidy and I have been awarded an NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Pathways Grant for our project ‘Expanding Repertoires of Practice: Improving Informal Science Learning Experiences for Dual Language Learners‘. In this project, we will collaborate with 8 other science centers and children’s museums and their community partners to begin the systematic study of informal science education programs and practices for reaching and serving preschool dual language learners. The project includes three interconnected activities: (1) a national needs assessment of children’s museums and science museums, (2) a two-day, in-person convening and quarterly virtual meet-ups of museum-community teams, and (3) an exploratory study of informal science programs and experiences at COSI and in early learning centers in Central Ohio. The overarching goal is to advance the knowledge and awareness of needs and practices related to informal science programming for preschool children who are learning English as an additional language.

NSF REU grant for Language Pod

The Language Pod at COSI will be an NSF Research Exerience for Undergraduates (REU) site. PI Laura Wagner and Co-PI Kathryn Campbell-Kibler have been awarded a 3-year (2015-2017) NSF grant of $353,750 to make the Language Pod an REU site devoted to “The Science of Language and the Language of Science“. I will be one of the mentors in the summer program at the Pod in which undergraduates are trained simultaneously in research skills and science communication skills. We will recruit students from all the OSU campuses and from Columbus State Community College.

Student internship program in language science outreach

The BLN Language Sciences Research Lab at COSI (aka the Language Pod) is launching a student internship program that expands on the core instruction provided in LING/PSYC/EDUTL 5700 Training in Science Education Outreach course and gives students a more intensive hands-on learning experience that involves close one-on-one instruction with a faculty mentor. All students who have completed the 5700 course will be eligible to participate. Students with alternative relevant experiences may be invited to participate on a case by case basis. The program is funded by a Special Grant from Social and Behavior Sciences and matching funds from the departments of Linguistics, Psychology, Speech & Hearing Science, and Teaching & Learning, as well as the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Applied Developmental Sciences in Education.

Sirad Shirdon awarded Hancock scholarship

My advisee Sirad Shirdon has been awarded a scholarship from the Dr. Charles R. Hancock Graduate Scholarship Fund in Urban Education. She will use the scholarship for her research on Kindergarten readiness among Somali children in Central Ohio. Sirad plans to take an ethnographically informed approach to the study of parent, school, and community understandings of Kindergarten readiness and how these understandings are enacted in practice. This study will build on Sirad’s work on my longitudinal study of language and literacy socialization and development among Somali immigrant-refugee children in the early elementary grades.