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, June 16, 2017

SIFT Training Week: Friday


Students spent the morning completing an observational study of ants. Using cookies and deli meat as bait, SIFTers observed what species of ants showed up, which came first, and how they interacted with the food. Convening back in the assembly building, the group listed out all of the species observed and which baits ants were attracted to. After lunch, students used their observations to develop a research question. This guided them into designing a full research project using best practices in ecological experimental design. SIFTers hard work was rewarded with ice cream as the training week came to a close.

Julia Berndt scribes observations. 

SIFTers work collaboratively to identify ants. 

Dr. James Trager (right) shares ant observations with Jill Tayon (left) and Raj Pandya (center). 

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