Hundreds of students in the Midwest states of Iowa and South Dakota have the opportunity to learn advanced topics in a unique setting, and many of them are now enjoying careers in science. This fall, students and instructors from West Sioux, George-Little Rock, and Alcester-Hudson (South Dakota) high schools participated in the Iowa Lakeside Lab Field and Research Studies program. The program is a field study and residential experience for hands on learning, independent research and in-depth explorations of math, science, and engineering topics, including water chemistry, orienteering, topographic mapping, fish population biology, freshwater invertebrate biology, field applications of mathematical concepts and - new this year - diatom ecology.

October 2-5, Mr. Ben Bouza, of West Sioux High School, taught a section on diatom ecology. Students learned how to collect diatoms and tested their gathering skills at Triboji Beach and Dugout Creek. They observed living cells through the excellent Zeiss microscopes at Lakeside Lab and gained direct, microbial experience of diatom diversity. The students responded with positive reviews of the section, so Mr. Bouza plans to expand study on diatoms in future sessions. Yay!