Dubuque County Historical Society Images

Age Appropriate Programs

These programs are available to add to your guided for the standard rate of $1 per student.

  • Pre-Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Programs are 30 minutes in length.
  • 4th - 8th Grade Programs are 45 minutes in length.

Pre-K - Kindergarten

Turtle Tales
What animal comes in all shades of green, has scales and 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 the Franklin book series and some real turtles that live right here at the aquarium.

Mississippi River Night Life
After you go to bed at night, the river comes to life with animals that are just waking up. These animals are called nocturnal because they sleep during the day and are active at night. Come prepared to use your "night vision" to learn about these fascinating animals.

All Hands on Deck! Exploring the William M. Black (Seasonal)
What makes this boat so different than other boats on the Mississippi River? Climb aboard this historic steam powered dredge boat and see what life was like for the crew on the William M. Black.

1st - 3rd Grade

Eat or Be Eaten
Are you a predator or the prey? What animals can you think of that are predators, and which ones are prey? Which are both? Who's a carnivore, omnivore or an herbivore? How can you tell? After this program you'll have the answers to these questions and many more.

You CAN Judge an Animal By It's Cover
Fur, feathers, skin and scales! Different groups of animals have different coverings on their bodies. Examine the different coverings of the animals living here at the aquarium and determine how each effects where they live, how they move and what they do!

Rockin' Reptiles and Awesome Amphibians
Do you know the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? After this program you will! Be a herpetologist and explore hands-on the world of herps (the collective name for reptiles and amphibians) and learn about the different species living here at the aquarium.

From Frontier to Community
The rich heritage of the Upper Mississippi River Valley is full of tales from Native Americans, fur traders, lead miners and steamboat captains. Let's explore the settlement of communities like Dubuque and identify how and why they developed and prospered along this great river.

All Hands on Deck! Exploring the William M. Black (Seasonal)
What makes this boat so different than other boats on the Mississippi River? Climb aboard this historic steam powered dredge boat and see what life was like for the crew on the William M. Black.

4th - 6th Grade

Rockin' Reptiles and Awesome Amphibians
Do you know the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? After this program you will! Be a herpetologist and explore hands-on the world of herps (the collective name for reptiles and amphibians) and learn about the different species living here at the aquarium.

Mammals of the Mississippi
What has fur (or hair), bears live young and has the ability to produce milk? If you guessed a mammal, then you're right! But wait...there's more! Mammals are extremely interesting creatures that come in all shapes, colors and sizes. This program will teach you the ins and outs of river mammal identification and some interesting facts for you to share about these fascinating animals.

Water We Doing to our Environment?
Do you know how your actions affect the overall health of the Mississippi River? Use Kool-Aid and cocoa on an Enviroscape model to investigate non-point source pollution and figure out how you can reduce the pollution that enters into the Mississippi River. (A student limit of 50)

On the Right Track
Have you ever taken a hike through the woods or along the river and been disappointed because you were unable to see any animals? Did you see tracks and other signs telling you animals were there at one time, but are now gone? Did you know what made those tracks? Learn how to identify animals that live along the Mississippi River by their tracks and the signs they leave behind at this program!

Wet and Wild - (Seasonal)
There's an entire underwater world in a wetland just waiting to be explored! Use dip nets to seek out these underwater creatures that inhabit this now rare environment. Play the role of scientist as you identify the aquatic life and categorize them as pollution tolerant or intolerant. Your data will determine the health of the wetland. (A student limit of 50)

Waterlogged - (Seasonal) (Recommended- 6th grade ONLY)
Do you know the number one pollution problem in Iowa waterways today? I bet the answer will surprise you! Join us to learn how to monitor the water quality in the aquarium's wetland. Everyone will be able to get their hands wet learning just how healthy the water is! Students test for dissolved oxygen, pH levels and other characteristics that will help us determine the health of the water.

Furs and Lead: The Life of a Voyageur along the Mississippi River
A voyageur's life was one of travel and trade where they encountered the Native American peoples and various 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.

Native American Tales
Have you ever wondered why the fawn has spots or why some trees are always green? Native American cultures provide a treasure of stories about plants and animals, and the land on which they thrive. Let's gather together to enjoy some of these traditional tales and create new ones along the way.

Boat Building and Rivet Toss
Have you ever wanted to be a boat builder, woodworker or a blacksmith? What if you had to build a boat with only one source of power...YOU? Could you do it? Come visit our boat building shop here at the Museum & Aquarium to find out. Explore the tools and techniques used in this very boat shop during the boat building industry in Dubuque. Use some of the hand tools that made many a watercraft in their day. Test your skills at throwing and catching a "hot" rivet. Watch a real model steam engine operate.

7th - 8th Grades

Wet and Wild - (Seasonal)
There's an entire underwater world just waiting to be explored in our wetland area! Use dip nets to seek out the underwater creatures that inhabit this rare environment. Play the role of scientist as you identify aquatic life and categorize them as pollution tolerant or intolerant. Your data will determine the health of the wetland. (A student limit of 50)

Water Logged - (Seasonal)
Do you know the number one pollution problem in Iowa waterways today? I bet the answer will surprise you! Join us to learn how to monitor the water quality in the aquarium's wetland. Everyone will be able to get their hands wet learning just how healthy the water is! Students test for dissolved oxygen, pH levels and other characteristics that will help us determine the health of the water.

Mississippi River Jeopardy
Answer: "This structure runs along the perimeter of Dubuque and is thirty feet high." Question:"What is the Culver Floodwall?" Test your memory from what you learned on your Museum & Aquarium your tour through the popular TV game Jeopardy. It will be a battle of brains to see which team remembers and knows more about the Mississippi River!

Furs and Lead: The Life of a Voyageur along the Mississippi River
A voyageur's life was one of travel and trade, where they encountered the Native American peoples and various 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.

Boat Building and Rivet Toss
Have you ever wanted to be a boat builder, woodworker or a blacksmith? What if you had to build a boat with only one source of power...YOU? Could you do it? Come visit our boat building shop here at the Museum & Aquarium to find out. Explore the tools and techniques used in this very boat shop during the boat building industry in Dubuque. Use some of the hand tools that made many a watercraft in their day. Test your skills at throwing and catching a "hot" rivet. Watch a real model steam engine operate.

High School and College Programs

Special arrangements can be made to go on an ecological boat trip or to use the wet lab, the wetland area, our testing equipment or microscopes. The Museum & Aquarium

staff can be available to assist with the high school and college programs.

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Group Sales and Marketing Coordinator Melissa Wersinger at (563) 557-9545 ext. 213/(800) 226-3369 ext. 213 or mwersinger@rivermuseum.com.