Mussels in The Classroom

A First In the Nation...

Through its partnerships with Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Service, Ohio State University, and Thomas More College, ORF is pleased to offer Mussels in The Classroom (MIC) to schools in Greater Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), and Lexington/Frankfort (KY).

FOR GRADES 1 thru 12.

Freshwater mussels are an often overlooked but important bio-indicator species of any watershed ecosystem that help illustrate the health of the environment.. Many species are imperiled and several are extinct. However, a determined and concerted effort is being made by several experts and agencies to raise and repatriate thousands of these "silent messengers of water quality" to rivers, creeks, and streams. Schools participating in MIC will be supporting this "cutting edge" scientific regional effort.

For those schools selected to participate, MIC will enable students to care for and raise freshwater mussels provided by ORF and its partners. At the beginning and during the experience, ORF will provide instruction and the students can take a field trip to a nearby freshwater mussel facility. The classroom activities will involve caring for live mussels in the classroom, including daily feeding, water changes, and temperature management. There are additional optional activities, as well opportunities for students and teachers to create new activities. Space is required for a 10-gallon tank as well as extra water and supplies. Students will monitor, feed, and share activity information with ORF and its partners and other participating schools. Feedback and advice by ORF staff and its partners will be provided.

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

All equipment (i.e., aquaria, filters, etc.), lesson plans, mussels, and supplies will be provided. Duration can be 2 weeks up to 5 weeks. Availability is Sept. 1 thru Dec.15, Jan. 15 thru June 1. No application deadline: rolling.

Fees: Greater Columbus and Cincinnati schools: $100 for first 2 weeks. $50 each additional week.


Lexington fees: No fees for FALL 2019.


Questions? contact us or call 513-238-0196.