Melbourne Bearkatz had another extraordinary day of field trips. We started the day at the University of Arkansas experiment station at Bethesda where students learned that many of the decisions that farmers make are based on careful research conducted by biologists, research scientists, and technicians right down the road from us.

For example, students learned that the experiment station has developed drones that can identify weeds and create a computerized map of them as well as equipment that can then read the map and spot-treat just the weeds. Researchers are also using drones with infrared cameras to analyze and seek solutions to the feral hog problem. Finally, cattle researchers have several experiments going which help them to determine which cattle treatments work most effectively.

After lunch, students traveled to White River Medical Center to tour many of the departments on the first floor. Students were able to see an ultrasound machine, a CT machine, and the partially-installed new 3 Tesla MRI high-detail scanner. Students also learned how the lab tests blood and analyzes cultures to determine if a patient has an infection, and exactly what type of infection the patient may have.

"We learn about science," one student said, "but I never really thought about it. So many people around here actually use it every day."