Taking language science to zoom school: Virtual outreach to elementary school students
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We describe guest speaker presentations that we developed to bring language science to elementary school students via videoconference. By using virtual backgrounds and guided discovery learning, we effectively engage children as young as 7 years in in-depth explorations of language science concepts. We share the core principles that guide our presentations and describe two of our outreach activities, Speech Detectives and Bilingual Barnyard. We report brief survey data from 157 elementary school students showing that they find our presentations interesting and educational. While our pivot to virtual outreach was motivated by the Covid-19 pandemic, it allows us to reach geographically diverse audiences, and we suggest that virtual guest speaker presentations will remain a viable and effective method of public outreach.