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.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Day, Another New Technology

So after getting this blog up and running I decided to try my hand at creating a wiki on

The reason for this is that while a blog is a good communication device, it is mostly one way, with new information only coming from the bloggers. For this project, that will be good for immediate posting of program information and photos. However, we do want the teenage participants to have the ability to input and communicate. And a wiki should be able to do that. It is a much larger collaborative (that word again!) space. And there can be different pages for the SIFT and TERF programs, and even for each participant or SIFT summer collaborative. And we can completely control access to the wiki and set differing levels of permissions for adding content to the site. So, it should meet our needs in terms of handling the teenagers, who may be significantly more computer literate than we are!

I was able to secure a similar web address for the wiki:

The site does not look like much yet, but hopefully I'll get access to my back up files soon and will be able to add photos and program descriptions. I tried to set up links to external sites for Shaw and Tyson yesterday (like I have here on the blog) but they seemed to only want to redirect to pages within Wetpaint. Hmmm. I'll have to figure that one out.

The Wetpaint wiki design interface is not as intuitive as Blogger, so I'm not picking it up as quickly. But, that could just be because a wiki is a more robust bit of web-ing. It can do more, so it takes more work to get it to do its thing...

I think the lesson learned is that this stuff is not hard to do. (I didn't even have to pull out my HTML training book and try to remember how to use HTML!) But, it does require some time for the initial set up. Maintenance should be a breeze. (Of course I say that now, before summer programming has

Promised to make a blog for the BHSSC next. I'll go secure the site address right now...

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