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, July 29, 2011

In her own words - TERFer Alicia McCabe

SIFT and TERF became so much more to me than just a summer job or a camp for me. Before SIFT and TERF, I wasn’t as interested in science as I am now; SIFT and TERF completely opened my eyes to science and sparked the passion I now have today.

SIFT and TERF, I can honestly say, were some of the greatest programs I have ever done, and they offered me some of the best experiences possible. SIFT and TERF went beyond most programs as they allowed me to do the actual hands-on work and gain personal experience.

The knowledge and experience I’ve gained through these programs even surprises people sometimes – it’s valuable. It’s more than just learning about what field biology or ecology is, it’s actually going out and doing what people who have made this their career do, and doing it alongside them to learn even more. And, even if I don’t go into field biology or ecology specifically, these programs have given me many opportunities and inspired me to only pursue science even more.

I’ve been challenged, pushed, inspired, taught, and have had so much fun in the process; it’s helped me find where my interests are. It’s helped me come to the realization that science is my passion and the future career field I hope to pursue.

Besides just the science aspect of these programs, they’ve also also helped me find and form long lasting friendships as I’ve become even best friends with some of the people I met over a year ago, specifically in SIFT. And for these reasons, I TRULY hope these programs continue so that others can also experience and find a passion within science as I have.

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