Waynesville Middle School students dove into their science lessons last week by wading into the Roubidoux, acquiring samples of water and critters in the process.  
Their official Stream Team clean water analysis and macroinvertebrate research results will be sent to the Missouri Department of Conservation and to the Department of Natural Resources.
“Clean water is so important to humans existing. If we do not take care of our environment, technology is not going to do us any good,” says Helen Warren, a 7th grade science teacher at Waynesville Middle School. “Clean water will be an issue that will have to be confronted by many of the generation I took to the river.”
Students are learning which macroinvertebrates indicate good water quality; how to do chemical analysis of dissolved oxygen, nitrogen and phosphates; and to measure and calculate stream flow (discharge rate).   
The “muddy boots” ecology – collecting samples in the environment –supports the science exploration classroom work at WMDS.  
“After we collect the data in the field, we come back to the classroom lab, calculate the data, fill out the official forms, and send off the results to the Missouri Department of Conservation and DNR concerning the condition of the Roubidoux Creek,” Warren says. “This is what I consider real science.”
Warren and Norma-Gene Cottrell both teach the course and each took 11 students to the Roubidoux to conduct the experiments. Cottrell and her husband, Mitchell Cottrell, have a Level 1 Stream Team Certification.
Warren’s husband, Neal Warren, cooked brats and hotdogs and set up the other food items for the student’s lunch. Bowser, the self-proclaimed four-legged mascot, also enjoyed the day and helped welcome students to the park.  
“We are all trying to pass on our love of the natural world on to a new generation, who will hopefully pass it on,” Warren says.  “In the process I hope to raise their awareness about our water issues, and get them started on a plausible solution.”