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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SIFTer Update
Our final applicant count is 52. Not bad for such short notice!

There are 38 confirmed SIFTers as of this morning. I sent out an e-mail yesterday afternoon that generated a few more RSVPs. I would really like to hit the 40 mark and would be thrilled if we had more than 40. Attrition is an issue with year-long programs, so the larger the starting numbers, the better.

There are 19 participants signed up for Session 1 and 17 signed up for Session 2. Two additional participants do not have a preference on session and we may ask them to be in Session 2 for balance.

The enrollment packages did go out as planned. I went ahead and sent them to all accepted applicants even if they had yet to confirm their participation. Need to keep the ball rolling...

Orientation Session Update
I've sent around the tentative agenda to Lydia, Jon, and our evaluator Kathi Beyer. It is amazing how quickly you can fill up 1 1/2 hours...

Kathi is getting the participant and parent surveys finalized for the orientation session on Sunday.

I will need to find time to make some PowerPoint slides before the end of the week.

Curriculum Update
Lydia and her staff are meeting this morning to go over the curriculum for the week-long summer sessions. There should be draft lesson plans in place with the all-important materials lists! It is time to start ordering supplies...

We have decided that final versions of lesson plans will be written up during the week between the two summer sessions. This way we can account for last minute changes and refinement after seeing the activities in action during the first session.

ISE PI Summit 2008
I have registered for the ISE PI Summit to be hosted by CAISE in Washington DC at the end of July.