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Maine Robotics/USM

zzPlaying with Language - Portland2

with Dana McDaniel


Class is canceled

Do you like to think about language?

  • Where it comes from
  • What your brain is doing when you use language
  • How many languages there are
  • How computers understand language
  • Whether animals use language

In the Playing with Language camp, we’ll do some activities and experiments about language, including these:

  • Campers will work with some of the tools that linguists use to learn about language:
    • A computer application that makes images of speech (spectrograms), where you can ‘see’ what speech looks like
    • An eye-tracker, which follows the movements of people’s eyes while they look at pictures and listen to language
  • Campers will make up their own languages, like Klingon in ‘Star Trek’
  • Campers will play games with Siri and Google Translate and other language apps
  • Campers will practice learning another language using Duolingo
  • We will visit Smiling Hill Farm to observe animal communication
  • We will go on a language scavenger hunt in Portland 

Language is at the center of human society and is one of the most amazing feats of the human brain. But we use language so naturally that we almost never think about it. This camp is an excellent opportunity for the youth to learn about language and to get a basic introduction to the science of linguistics.

1 field trip to Smiling Hill Farm to see animal communication

and 1 field trip to downtown Portland for the language scavenger hunt

Open to ages 9 to 12

Minimum number of campers: 8

Maximum number of campers: 12


IF REQUIRED DUE TO STATE OF THE PANDEMIC, THE CAMPS WILL BE ONLINE OR HYBRID THIS SUMMER. If conditions require online or hybrid operations, all camper families will have the opportunity to cancel for a full refund. If camps are offered in person, then normal cancellation policy remains in effect.

Click here for Camp FAQ Page

Click here for Camp Policy and Forms Page

Payment plan available: $100 deposit plus 2 payments of $112.50, paid weekly.
  • Jul 11 - 15th, 2022
    Mon - Fri for 1 week from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

University of Southern Maine (Portland)

70 Falmouth Street
Portland, ME 04103 Get directions

Room: 305, Science, A wing

Location map for University of Southern Maine (Portland)

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