The Museum & Aquarium interprets and preserves the Mississippi River’s natural environment and history, we inspire a global audience, and create more knowledgeable and engaged citizens. As the premier Mississippi River educational institution in the world, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium inspires the next generation of river explorers, improves upon science literacy, encourages environmental advocacy and sustainability efforts, and conducts our own original research.

The Museum and Aquarium engages learners, especially youth, in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) literacy and STEM careers. We showcase scientific discoveries, protect habitats and propagate endangered species, thereby reaching new levels in informal learning every day.

  • Science

    Can include all branches of science from biology, to physics, to chemistry, to anthropology and archaeology, or almost any of the sciences ending in —ology and more.  At the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium we use science constantly.  We have to test water in the aquariums to keep the animals thriving.  Our Living Collections staff has to design filtration systems and pumping systems to move water and keep it safe for animals.  Our Education Department works with school students and adult groups teaching about wildlife, plants, watersheds, and many science-related subjects.

  • Technology

    The days of Mark Twain piloting a riverboat with a big steering wheel and measuring the river depth with a knotted lead line are long gone.  Today’s riverboat pilots must know how to operate radar, computers, navigation satellite receivers, water depth meters, marine radio communications, and complicated steering, engines and thrusters.  It now takes a lot of special training in technology to pilot barges and ships.  Also when you consider all of the websites, computers, cell phones, and wireless communication almost every business can’t get by for very long if at least some of its employees aren’t very knowledgeable in technology.

  • Engineering

    This is where almost everything we do or use begins now days.  Everything in our homes, businesses, cars, schools, cities and streets had to be designed by an engineer.  If you think of all the steam-powered engines on trains and boats years ago, modern diesel and gas engines, aircraft, building construction with lighting, heating, air conditioning, security, and improved safety in automobiles, engineering is very important.

  • Math

    Math is used in almost everything we do in our lives. Using a computer depends on math, or navigating rivers, or calculating how much food or medicine to give an animal. Everyone in business, banking, research, or the other fields of STEM relies on math.

Most people use all of the STEM principles in their lives whether they realize it or not. Some add an A in STEM to make it STEAM. This includes all of the arts: music, fine art, writing and poetry, and things in our everyday life that give us added pleasure to our senses and thinking. Most of the arts rely on the other STEM principles as the other principles rely on art.

STEM is very important at the Museum & Aquarium in almost everything we do.