For the Plant Invaders' event, we mimicked the process of competitor removal in their plots, where they remove every plant not of their focal species with scissors, no matter now small, and put it in bags to be weighed. In their event, competitors removed all the candy in their "plot" but the focal species -- red M&Ms -- with chopsticks. They were scored on speed and accuracy.
The Glade Team's event was a reference to the insect sampling they had been processing for much of the summer. Two members from each team stood across from each other, one throwing "insects" like candy, ping-pong balls, and little toys. The other person, the sampler, "collected" as many insects as they could using a ziplock bag. Teams were scored on sample size and richness (how many different things they caught).
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.