Mussels in The Classroom

A First In the Nation...

FOR GRADES K thru 12.

First introduced in fall 2017, demand for Mussels in the Classroom (MIC) continues to grow. This is the first classroom-based mussel education program in the US (maybe the world!). There is increasing interest and activity from agencies to repopulate rivers with native mussels. As these agencies and partner with ORF in repatriating activities, there is interest in leveraging ORF's Education program expertise to involve students in a mussel education program.

It is one more tool to strengthen the real world connections that teachers seek to reinforce science curricula and help students better understand the complexity of aquatic environments. Also it's an important step in educating people about these overlooked species - the public (and students) is more familiar with the presence of fish species in rivers and streams, but not mussels.

The MIC program comprises the following: An in-classroom visit from ORF education staff with freshwater mussel collateral and shells that involves a 45minute-1hour classroom hands-on learning experience. Students learn about the importance of mussels to an ecosystem, their life cycle, and their current status in the environment. The class is then provided an aquarium and the necessary equipment to maintain and monitor individuals/mussels. Monitoring information is provided to ORF by the students on a weekly basis. Teachers and schools can elect to have tanks and mussels for 2 weeks.

We provide the teachers specific guidelines and protocols that are mandatory for the health and wellbeing of the mussels, and optional activities and lesson plans. Teachers and students may proceed with their own optional activities with approval from ORF staff. This fosters creativity and scientific exploration.

While not a requirement, preferential consideration will be given to schools also participating in a River Explorer field trip (not applicable for Lexington/Frankfort/Georgetown area applicants).

All equipment (i.e., aquaria, filters, etc.), lesson plans, mussels, and supplies will be provided. Duration is for 2 weeks. Availability is Sept. 1 thru Dec.15, Jan. 15 thru June 1. No application deadline: rolling.

Fees: $100 for first 2 weeks. $50 each additional week. (Waived for spring 2021.)



Other activity resources:

Mussel Aglae Filtration K-12, Mussel Host 5-8, Mussel Reproduction 5-8

Questions? contact us or call 513-460-3365.