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.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March SIFT Saturday

Saturday, March 3, 2012 marked the close of the SIFT 2011-12 program.  The day's activities opened with Aileen's signature "natural items egg drop" challenge.  SIFTers worked in small groups to come up with the best design of plant materials packaging to protect a raw egg from the long drop off the Assembly Building porch.  (Epic failure for all.)

The rest of the cold and windy morning was spent on a field challenge with five teams competing for completion of a scavenger hunt designed to review some key skills and knowledge.  After lunch the SIFTers went out with a bang (down in flames?) with a demonstration controlled burn near the Trail House parking lot.

James Trager explains how to use the flapper to put out small flames.
Aileen Abbott shows Mohammed how to wet down the perimeter area before the burn.
James shows the SIFTers how a drip torch is used to start the fire.
Watching the fire creep across the target burn area.
SIFTers use water packs, rakes, and flappers to make sure the fire is out.
Congratulations to SIFT Cohort 4!

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