The Natural Enemies team created an elaborate obstacle course based on things they had been doing and talking about that summer. The team sterilized a ton of soil, so climbing a soil mound was a must; they sampled plots using PVC squares that competitors had to jump through; they created a maze of flagging tape; and, because the team had gotten very interested in pull-ups throughout the summer, competitors could get time off their run by doing pull-ups at the end of the course.
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.