Session at ASTE with Mandy McCormick Smith

With my co-author Mandy McCormick Smith, I will present the experiential session ‘Preparing early childhood educators to make science learning meaningful for dual language learners in preschool contexts’ at the 2017 Meeting of the Association for Science Teacher Education. Our session focuses on preparing early childhood educators to make science learning meaningful for preschool children who speak many languages. Participants will interact with preschool science concepts through the pre-k learning cycle for science with emphasis on incorporating linguistically responsive approaches through thematic learning.

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)

Language Pod at AAAS 2016

Wenxi AAAS smallThe Language Pod participated in the AAAS Family Science Days in Washington, D.C. on February 13 and 14. Professors, graduate students, and undergrads demonstrated tools and methods of linguistic research at the Linguistic Society of America booth, sponsored by the NSF. Family Science Days is a free two-day science showcase featuring hands-on demos, shows, talks by scientists, and other family-appropriate activities, a great part of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Pictured here is Wenxi Yang, who took the Language Pod course with me in 2013 and is now a graduate student in Georgetown University’s Language and Communication program.

Pod Course featured in A&S News

5700 students smallThe Language Pod course EDUTL/LING/PSYC 5700 Training in Informal Science Outreach is featured in the College of Arts & Sciences News. Check out the article Teaching the Science of Language. The Pod Course is now in its 4th year. I am teaching it this semester, and I am very excited to be teaching at COSI and in one of OSU’s Innovative Spaces on campus.

Language Pod shortlisted for prize

REU2015-Mikayla-earThe Language Pod has been shortlisted for a QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards 2015 prize. Kathryn Campbell-Kibler and I will go to the conference to present the work of the Language Pod, a research-in-real-time exhibit at COSI where students learn science, do science, and share science. An important part of the work for which the Language Pod is being recognized is the course EDUTL/LING/PSYC 5700 Training in Informal Science Outreach, aka the Pod Course, which I will teaching in SP 2016.

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.