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National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium inspires stewardship

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The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium incorporates science and history curriculum into every student visit.

The Dubuque, Iowa, attraction focuses on science, technology, engineering, math and history as it relates to the Mississippi River, all aspects of the Mississippi River watershed and their connections to the world.

Many of the museum and aquarium’s middle and high school programs focus on environmental science, including water quality, environmental impacts on animal habitats and invasive species.

“Backwater Marsh” exhibit, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque, Iowa

Photo: National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium “Backwater Marsh” exhibit, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque, Iowa

“The museum and aquarium is unique in that it is a large, 14-acre campus and yet we are still able to highly individualize each tour and program to fit the needs of our schools and groups,” said Melissa Wersinger, youth group manager at National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. “We feel the guided tour experience and individualized programs are the best way we can provide experiential learning opportunities and a truly interactive exchange between students and museum and aquarium educators.”

Wendy Scardino, director of marketing and communications, said the museum and aquarium’s mission is to inspire stewardship by creating educational experiences that bring history and rivers alive.

“River of Innovation” is a new permanent exhibit set to open next year. Combining history, river culture and science, the exhibit will encourage guests to explore their own power to innovate. The exhibit will feature a working belt-driven machine shop, a section of interactive exhibits and a maker space.

Student visits typically last two to three hours. Four hours is ideal to experience the entire campus. Plenty of free public parking is available for motorcoaches.

In addition to the on-site restaurant, there are locations for students to eat sack lunches.

Multiple individualized scientific and historical education programs can be incorporated into any visit based on the group’s area of study. Guided and non-guided tour options are available. A 4D film can be part of longer visits.

For more information, call 563-557-9545 or visit rivermuseum.com.

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About Author

David Hoekman, Managing Editor

David Hoekman is a former newspaperman on a quest to tell the stories of the world’s various places and cultures in compelling ways. He especially enjoys learning and writing about the business of group travel. His favorite destination is wherever he is going next and his travel tip is to always pack an emergency granola bar or two.

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