Future Scientists Experience Iowa State and Fisheries Outreach



AMES, Iowa — Campers from the Science Center of Iowa Future Scientist Camp visited the Iowa State campus on Aug. 11 to explore unique science careers. The seventh and eighth graders not only learned about careers, but the educational opportunities at Iowa State that would prepare them for those careers.

“During the five days of Future Scientists camp, campers see what career paths are possible for them in various science fields,” said Stephanie Arndt, camp coordinator. “Iowa State has so many amazing and unique programs that we decided to have the campers visit for a day so they could explore careers that they may not have thought were possible.”

The group traveled around campus to different departments, ending up with Allen Pattillo, ISU Extension aquaculture and fisheries specialist to learn about Animal Ecology and Fisheries.

“We took the students to Lake Laverne to learn about different capture methods for fish and explained why fish are so important to the environment,” Pattillo said. “We set out a fyke net and four minnow traps overnight and let the students haul them in and examine the catch. We also demonstrated the use of hoop nets, seine nets and plankton nets.”

Pattillo, assisted by Eric Mammoser, Jim Wamboldt, Shawnee Gehrig and Sarah Hart, outfitted each of the campers with a baited fishing pole and set them loose to go fishing.  Bluegill were the primary catch, with only one camper bringing in a bullhead. According to Pattillo, the kids were able to get a little dirty and run around and explore what the campus has to offer.

“The children were thrilled with their experience at Iowa State,” Arndt said. “They came back jazzed about everything they did and counselors felt that the campers were pushed to explore things they wouldn’t normally do.”

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Top photo: Future scientists learn about juvenile Largemouth Bass from Shawnee Gehrig.

Bottom photo: Eric Mammoser baits a hook for a future scientist.