Educator Resources

Museum educators offer informal, active education opportunities, typically outside of the school classroom, although many museums bring programs to school classrooms.  Educators offer educational experiences for ages pre-K to adult by incorporating active learning skills which involve the learner in questioning and experiential learning.  Through this process foundational skills are developed which later enable students to master reading, writing, social studies, science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).

Museum educators incorporate curriculum standards into their lesson plans in order to meet classroom requirements and better serve their classroom teacher partners.  A wide variety of  resources are available to educators.

Museums in the classroom and/or field trips - Iowa museums have programs for all ages on many subjects.

Photo courtesy of the Grout Museum District, Waterloo, Iowa.

Iowa Social Studies Standards

The new Iowa Social Studies Standards are posted here .  

Lesson plans that correlate to new Iowa Social Studies Standards will be created over two years and posted at as ready.

History Relevance Campaign

The Iowa Museum Association is an endorser of the Value Statement and supporter of the History Relevance Campaign.

The History Relevance Campaign is a diverse group of history professionals posing questions about what makes the past relevant today.
The Campaign serves as a catalyst for dis
covering, demonstrating, and promulgating the value of history for individuals, communities, and the nation.

Click here to Learn the Value of History and Seven Ways it is Essential.


2026 marks the 250th anniversary of our nation's founding. To observe this momentous occasion, the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission will encourage Americans to remember our past, celebrate the present, and look forward to a promising future. We are reaching out to individuals, communities, state and local governments, cultural institutions, national parks and proud partners across the country over the next six years — to inspire the American spirit in ways that are meaningful to all.

Teaching Iowa History  provides instructional resources and Iowa history content to support Iowa's teachers in meeting the new standards.  Teaching Iowa History raises awareness of the collections held in Iowa's museums and the importance of museums in preserving primary sources that inform the historical identity of Iowans, Iowa communities, and Iowa's role in the nation and world.

Teaching Iowa History raises awareness of the stewardship role of museums by building a database of primary sources that may be used for education.

Teaching Iowa History - collection of primary sources    Building this collection will be a multi-year project. 

If your organization would like to share images of objects from its collection for Teaching Iowa History, please fill out this Permission Form and send it to [email protected]  with attached jpgs and contextual information.

 Teaching Iowa History provides an opportunity for pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and museum educators to create lesson plans aligned with the new Iowa Social Studies standards, to assist Iowa educators in meeting those new standards using primary sources, bringing Iowa's museums and schools into closer alignment and partnership, highlighting the role of museums as K-12 educational partners and life-long active, choice-driven learning environments.

Project leaders:
Iowa Museum Association, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), Simpson College, Graceland University, Geographic Alliance of Iowa, Iowa PBS, University of Iowa Museum Studies program. 

Iowa Public Television's Time Travel Iowa is an engaging and informative look at artifacts from around the state.  View the videos here.