The pallid sturgeon is the focus of Missouri River Relief's new Missouri River Scientists traveling trunk program.
Pallid sturgeon. Adobe Stock photo

‘Missouri River Scientists’ traveling trunk
Program begins in Columbia public schools.

COLUMBIA—Missouri River Relief is debuting its new “Missouri River Scientists” traveling trunk education program, partnering with Columbia Public Schools to launch the initiative.

Teachers at Columbia Public Schools will have the first opportunity to bring “Missouri River Scientists” into their classrooms as a fun new way to explore the recovery and management of the endangered pallid sturgeon.

The “Missouri River Scientists” curriculum has been designed around fourth grade learning standards and provides teachers with the tools to bring place-based learning about the Missouri River to their classrooms. Each “Missouri River Scientist” traveling trunk consists of four connected lesson plans, along with the materials required for each lesson. Fossils from the Missouri River watershed, dam building materials, a model replica of a pallid sturgeon, and more can be found within one of these traveling trunks.

“It’s meant to be simple,” says Anna Miller, AmeriCorps education assistant at Missouri River Relief. “You just open the trunk and dive into the story of the pallid sturgeon.”

Thanks to this partnership between Missouri River Relief and Columbia Public Schools, “Missouri River Scientists” traveling trunks will not only be debuting in Columbia Public Schools classrooms. Teachers in other school districts may also request a “Missouri River Scientists” instructor to assist them in leading their students through the lessons.

The “Missouri River Scientists” instructor will only be available during March, April and May. Other Mid-Missouri educators are welcome to check out one of the “Missouri River Scientists” traveling trunks through Missouri River Relief’s website.

“We want to give educators the tools to explore the Missouri River independently and to encourage excitement in their learners about these important river topics,” says Kristen Schulte, education director for Missouri River Relief. “I think the pallid sturgeon is just the right fish for the job!”

This article is based on a news release from Missouri River Relief.

For the past 20 years, Missouri River Relief (MRR), a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Columbia, Missouri, has hosted Missouri River cleanups and education program throughout the Lower Missouri River Valley, bringing more than 30,000 students and teachers to the river to learn about the ecology, history and stewardship of the Missouri River.