I care a lot about science education. Three years of involvement with outreach at UMD’s Language Science Center have shown me over and over that language is a great vehicle for teaching kids of all ages about the scientific method: formulating a hypothesis, making predictions, and evaluating data to decide whether the hypothesis is supported or not. I’ve applied these ideas in activities ranging from five-minute interactions with pre-teens at science fairs (such as AAAS Family Days in 2016 and 2017) to a semester-long advanced undergraduate seminar. Data literacy and hypothesis testing are crucial 21st-century skills, and language science is the perfect way to teaching them.

I’ve also recently started writing about science for a popular audience. Check out my first guest post at Scimplifide, which explains how our brains understand meaning in a sentence, and my second guest post at Scimplifide, which highlights some ways how children’s language processing differs from adults’!