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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We're In It Now!

We are now up to 30 confirmed participants in SIFT 2008-09! Fingers crossed for more...

All of the documents for the enrollment package are being finished up and I plan to get the packages in the mail on Friday, or Monday morning at the very latest. Time to make the copies and stuff the envelopes...

Lydia and I met this morning and we now have a tentative agenda for the Orientation Session on Sunday, May 18th. I will need to get some slides together for the welcome and overview of the whole project. I'm hoping Jon will be willing to show some slides of Tyson research projects in action. Lydia will be handling the bulk of the presentation on the plans for the SIFT program for 2008-09. And then I need to address the whole educational research project angle and administer the first evaluation tool. I will try to think of a way to keep the presentation flowing and not too boring. Hmmmm. Props? Field tools? Is there a comedy angle? Maybe I should get everyone to tuck their pants in their socks... :) Oooh, just got a great idea for an ice breaker that involves screaming about ticks.

The summer session curriculum draft is looking good and the Shaw team has assigned the lead instructor roles for each activity. Those individuals are currently writing up their activities and the team will be meeting on Tuesday, May 13th to show progress. I'm very excited to see how it is all fleshing out from our original curricular skeleton.

I'm hoping to post a blog at least once or twice a week, but this might be hard as the programming season gets under way. I want to capture my thoughts, ideas, and conclusions as they happen, especially during the summer session weeks. I'll have to get in the habit of blogging at night, I think.

And then there's the wiki, too...