About Us:

The Bluestem Institute is a service-learning cohort of seniors at Ames High School enrolled in the Integrated Capstone Seminar (ICS).


Our Approach:

During an integrated, three-period block each day, Bluestem students earn credits in English, Environmental Science, Government and Sociology through a combination of hands-on, project-based learning experiences and formal classroom studies. This structure offers teachers and students the flexibility to transcend the traditional classroom environment and engage the community through regular field studies and project collaborations. As the capstone of an intensive, year-long investigation of social, cultural and environmental issues that face our global community, Bluestem students will have the opportunity to explore their own role as civic leaders by completing a community impact project and become active participants in the production of their own knowledge.


Our Mission:

The Integrated Capstone Seminar (ICS) invites senior students to explore the role of the individual in society and to develop the skills necessary to thrive in an ever-changing world. By examining the personal, social, cultural, and scientific implications of our daily choices, we aspire to facilitate a public expression of students’ personal ethics and help them begin to answer the question, “How should I live?”