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, June 16, 2008

SIFT Session 1 Day 5

Unfortunately, we awoke to very cloudy skies on Day 5. We made it out into the field briefly, but had to switch over to backup activities as the rain fell in a steady downpour for the rest of the day. The SIFTers took this in stride and stayed in good spirits. They were exhausted, so it was not hard to keep them indoors...

7:30 Wake up
8:00 Move overnight gear to Assembly Building
8:15 Breakfast
9:00 Ant baiting behavior study - SIFTers work in pairs, set up bait sites in field (James)

Observing ant behavior at cookie bait site

Watching ants run from the rain

SIFTers confined to the porch

10:00 NOVA program on ants with E.O. Wilson
11:00 Organism observation (simulation) - SIFTers divided into three groups; each group must find, observe, and record information about assigned "organism" and its habitat; each group must make inferences regarding "organism"; groups share observations and conclusions (Barb)

Discussing inferences

12:00 Lunch

1245 Post-program survey
1:30 Photos, blog, and wiki - share photos from week; show project director's blog site; show collaborative wiki site and explain that it is a place for the SIFTers to document/share their experiences (Susan)
2:30 School year activities - review dates for GIS/GPS session in August, fall and spring Saturdays, and winter weekend overnight; discuss work projects (Lydia)
3:00 Something FUN - SIFTers write positive messages to each other and make ice cream sundaes (Karen, Katie Z.)
3:45 Final sharing session - review big picture from the whole week; SIFTers share best things about the week and give advice for the next session (Lydia, Susan)
4:00 Bus loads up