Welcome to the PhilanthroPete campaign for the Phon Farm Lab, a lab for studying child speech development!
ABOUT OUR RESEARCH In the Phon Farm Lab, our main goal is to better understand speech development. Starting this fall, the Phon Farm Lab will be running three separate studies, the largest and most ambitious data collection effort in our history. Past research on speech development has primarily focused on just one of the three learning processes: just learning by listening, just learning by speaking, or just through feedback. Below is a rough description of how our experiments will work--we are studying all three mechanisms at the same time! This represents a major move forward for understanding how each mechanism affects both typical development and children who need speech therapy.
ABOUT OUR TRAINING The Phon Farm Lab trains students who want to become speech-language pathologists, or SLPs. There is a great need for SLPs in Oklahoma and all across the country, especially for SLPs who are well trained to work with children. To that end, the three studies described above will be conducted by undergraduate students at Oklahoma State University. Currently, there are 7 undergraduate students in the lab and 1 graduate student. Each student will gain direct experience working with children and completing tasks that are typical of a speech-language pathologists’ job. In particular, students learn to use play as part of research because play helps children grow accustomed to the lab. Furthermore, students will administer standardized tests to that are used by practicing speech-language pathologists in the real world. Here's Dr. Richtsmeier (10 years younger) administering a test.
And here are some current lab members learning how to give a speech assessment!
So why PhilanthroPete? To complete all three studies, we plan to recruit about 85 children who will participate in a combined total 215 sessions. Each session requires about $30. That money goes to the parents for their time and the kids for their sustained attention. We have received some support from our department, but more support will ensure that our studies are completed in a timely manner, and our students are trained here and now. Thank you for considering this project!