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Outreach Programs

Outreach Programs

Bring the Museum & Aquarium to your school or organization! We have several outreach programs to suit your educational focus and age group.

Mississippi River Life (Grades K-5)

Mussels, snakes and beavers; each species has a niche or role in the environment. Through the use of pelts and other hands-on items, participants will explore animals that call the Mississippi River home! 

  • This program will include one or two live animals.

Possible Next Generation Science Standards met through this program:

  • 4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-LS1-1. Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

Turtle Tales (Grades Pre-K - 3)

What animal comes in all shades of green, has scales, and wears a shell? If you guessed a turtle, you’re right! Many different types of turtles call the Mississippi River home. Explore the turtle world with help from one of our story books and meet some live turtles that live at the aquarium.

  • This program will include one or two live animals.

Rockin' Reptiles & Awesome Amphibians (Grades K-6)

Do you know the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? After this program you will! Become a herpetologist and explore the world of herps (collective name for reptiles and amphibians)! Learn about some of the different species living here at the aquarium and even have a few visitors stop by to help us learn more about them. You won’t want to miss it!

  • This program will include several live animals.
  • This booking cannot last more than four hours (including travel time)

Invertebrates - The Life of a Bug (Grades K-3)

Invertebrates, or animals without a backbone, are the most common type of animal on the planet. Learn about some of their amazing adaptations while meeting a few live animals up close and personal!

  • This program will include one or two live animals.

Possible Next Generation Science Standards met through this program:

  • K-LS1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
  • K.MD.A.2. Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/”less of” the attribute, and describe the difference.
  • 2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

Amazing Transformations (Grades K-3)

Follow the life of insects and amphibians and see how they transform from eggs to adults. Live animal representatives will help us learn about the amazing changes some critters go through during their life.

  • This program will include one or two live animals.

Possible Next Generation Science Standards met through this program:

  • 1-LS3-1. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
  • 3-LS1-1. Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles, but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

Furs-n-Lead: The Life of a Voyageur Along the Mississippi (Grades 4-8)

A voyageur’s life was one of travel and trade as they encountered Native American peoples and wildlife species along the Upper Mississippi River. Examine the role that furs and lead played in the lives of these historic individuals, including our city’s namesake, Julien Dubuque.

  • There is a 60 student maximum per session
  • An auditorium style program is available

Possible Iowa Social Studies Standards met through this program:

  • SS.1.23. Describe the diverse cultural makeup of Iowa’s past and present in the local community, including indigenous and agricultural communities.
  • SS.2.18. Describe how the choices people make impact local and distant environments.
  • SS.2.20. Determine the influence of particular individuals and groups who have shaped significant historical change.
  • SS.3.21. Use map evidence to explain how human settlements and movements relate to the locations and use of various regional landforms and natural resources.


Outreach programs are typically one hour in length. Price breaks are available for multiple sessions of the same program. For pricing details, availability, and reservations, please contact Missy Wersinger at 563.557.9545 x 213 or






RiverWorks Discovery is a national outreach program of the National Mississppi River Museum & Aquarium. The program offers a variety of outreach opportunities. 

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