This educational collaboration between Washington University's Tyson Research Center and the Missouri Botanical Garden's Shaw Nature Reserve is designed to engage St. Louis area high school students in scientifically-based exploration of the natural world. Linked programs of field training (SIFT) and field research (TERF) provide teenagers with experiences that realistically reflect research in environmental biology. Participating teens learn a variety of field investigation skills and then have the opportunity to put those new skills to work assisting career scientists with real research projects.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fun on SIFT Work Days: Tyson Research Center

As a fun break from counting seeds, SIFTers, TERFers and undergraduates from the Natural Enemies lab ventured out into the field in a Polaris. They had a less scientific activity in mind and this is the result.

Adina dances to "In My Feelings" by Drake in front of some of the aquatic mesocosms at Tyson as her fellow team members film her and drive the Polaris.

Monday, July 9, 2018

First Day for July TERFers

The second group of TERFers started today. They began the morning with introductory information and ice breakers. Then they explored Tyson with the Tour de Tyson Challenge, a scavenger hunt that goes around the Tyson property. They were then introduced to their teams at lunch and integrated into their teams after lunch.

TERFers explore the research garden during the Tour de Tyson Challenge.
TERFers take a picture at the highest point on the Tyson property during the Tour de Tyson Challenge.
(left to right) Juan, Margie, Raj, Julia, Hannah and Tullaia
TERFers examine a clue at their final stop on the Tour de Tyson Challenge, Mincke Cave.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Last Day for June TERFers

Today was the last day for the June TERFers. They celebrated by visiting some interesting locations on the Tyson property including Mincke Cave and the overlook. They did a great job this past month and will be missed!

The TERFers visited the spring in the southern portion of Tyson's property.
(front row, left to right) Sabreena, Kayla, Vlada and Anna
(back row, left to right) Farhan and Daniel

The TERFers do their best to properly time their jump at the highest point on Tyson's property.
(left to right) Farhan, Daniel, Kayla, Sabreena, Anna and Vlada
The TERFers returned to Mincke Cave, the site of the final stop on the Tour de Tyson Challenge that they completed on their first day at Tyson.

The TERFers look out on the Meramec River from an overlook at the edge of Tyson's property.

SIFT Work Days: Tyson Research Center

Today was the first SIFT Work Day at Tyson and the SIFTers spent the day working with the Natural Enemies team. They participated in such jobs as counting seeds and filling holes with soil in preparation for a future experiment. They worked with undergraduate fellows and TERFers during the day.

Bernie (left, SIFT) and Anna (right, TERF) work together to fill holes with soil.

Sriharsha works on counting seeds.
Chris also works on counting seeds.

Friday, June 22, 2018

SIFT Training Week: Friday

The SIFTers had a full schedule for the last day of their training week. SIFTers spent the morning learning how to identify different species of ants found at Shaw Nature Reserve from James Trager. They then put their skills to the test and practiced identifying ants in the field by baiting the ants with pieces of sausage and canned peaches. In the afternoon the SIFTers practiced experimental design by designing an experiment in small groups and then presenting on the experiment.


Adina looks for ants on a piece of canned peach her group used as bait.
James Trager helps Laura identify the ants she found by her bait.
Josie records observations about the ants she sees on her bait.
Elijah (right) measures the length of an ant as Edmaelle (left) and him work to determine the species of the ant.
(left to right in semi-circle) Anna, Ayiana, Adnan and Vito work to identify the ants on the piece of sausage they used as bait.
Annie takes notes on what she observes about the ants on the piece of canned peach her group used as bait.
(left to right) Anthony, Libby and Menkahre use a magnifying glass to more closely examine the ants they found.