Learning the Language of Research

Through a a grant from the National Science Foundation the Ohio State University has developed a summer program in which a group of undergraduate students from select colleges and universities around the country are learning the principles and practices of scientific research. The program takes place at COSI in downtown Columbus where students are engaging in linguistic analysis, studying the cognitive processes of language, and learning how to have effective social interactions with museum guests.

13 students were chosen from a group of 102 applicants. The 13 chosen students demonstrated a commitment to learn, though they had a limited knowledge of research practices. They are a diverse group chosen from public and private four-year institutions. Some are students of the Ohio State University system.

The internship encompasses three distinct elements over the 10-week period: classroom sessions, research training, and informal science education. Interaction on the museum floor is a critical component of the program.

After three weeks of in-class instruction students get matched up with a research partner—an Ohio State faculty member whose research projects match the student’s interest. The students then work one on one with the faculty member assisting in their research. Students might do any number of tasks including recruiting and running participants to analyzing and presenting data. Students will learn how to interact with the public and present their data effectively.

Students’ research discoveries will be featured in a capstone program before the conclusion of their research experience on Aug. 13.