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), an extension of the River Explorer program, to schools in Greater Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), and Lexington/Frankfort (KY).

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 of the experience, ORF will provide instruction and the students will take a field trip to a nearby freshwater mussel facility. The classroom activity will involve caring for live mussels in the classroom, including daily feeding, water changes, and temperature management. 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. Students will be provided feedback and advice by ORF staff and its partners.

Participation in MIC is free. All equipment (i.e., aquaria, filters, etc.) and supplies will be provided and transportation cost to partner facilities will be covered.


For Columbus and Greater Cincinnati Schools: In order to be eligible to participate in MIC Greater Cincinnati and Columbus school/class MUST be registered and participate in a FALL 2017 River Explorer field trip. A teacher must submit a separate MIC application. To be considered for the MIC program, BOTH the River Explorer registration and MIC application must be received by May 12.


For Lexington/Frankfort Schools: No River Explorer participation requirement for 2017. However, the MIC application must be received by May 12.

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