We offer school tours and also take the museum on the road to the classroom.
This FREE, fun, and interactive series of outreach programs is designed to bring the Colorado River into your K-6
classroom! Programs introduce students to Colorado River ecology through visual media and hands-on explorations. All
programs are designed to meet grade-appropriate Arizona State Science Standards.
Grades K-1: Wetlands Species
The Wetlands Species program introduces students to a number of common plants and animals found in the Yuma East
Wetlands along the Colorado River. The wetlands is an oasis in the desert that attracts a diverse array of species. This
program includes a wide variety of hands-on materials, including a beaver skull, tree cookies, stuffed animals, and more.
The program concludes with a leaf tracing activity. This program can serve as a stand-alone outreach program or as
preparation for the Eco-Explorations field trip to the Yuma East Wetlands.
K: Science S4C3PO1-2
1 st : Science S4C3PO1,3
Grades 2-3: Endangered Colorado River Fish
Over the past 100 years, the ecology of the Colorado River has become so altered that the native fish of the river are now
endangered. This program introduces students to the changes that have occurred along the river and how the changing
ecology has affected native fish. Students will be awed by the program’s five foot long replica of the native Colorado
Pikeminnow. The program concludes with a fish coloring and “swimming” activity that involves a bubble machine!
2 nd : Science S1C1PO1; S3C2PO1; S4C1PO1
3 rd : Science S2C2PO1-2; S3C1PO2; S4C3PO4-5; S4C4PO3
Grade 4: Wetlands Adaptations
The diverse array of plants and animals found in the Yuma East Wetlands along the Colorado River all display unique
adaptations that make them well suited to the wetlands environment. This program introduces students to a number of
native species and discusses their specific adaptations. A number of sample plant species will be brought to the classroom
for examination. This program can serve as a stand-alone outreach program or as preparation for the Wetlands Adaptations field trip to the Yuma East Wetlands.
4th : Science S4C4PO1-2
Grades 5-6: Water Quality
The Colorado River is the source of not only Yuma’s drinking water, but also many other cities’ water throughout the
Southwest, making the river’s water quality important to us all. During this program, students will be introduced to the
definition of water quality and learn about five water quality parameters, including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen,
turbidity, and total dissolved solids. Students will then test samples of tap water for each of the parameters and discuss
their results. This program serves as a stand-alone outreach program or as preparation for the Water Quality field trip to
the Yuma East Wetlands.
5 th : Science S1C2PO1-5; S1C3PO1,5; S1C4PO1,3
6 th : Science S1C2PO1-5; S1C3PO1-3; S1C4PO3,5; S4C3PO2
Interpretive Education Programs for the Yuma East Wetlands (YEW)
Eco-explorations (K-2): The YEW is home to a diverse array of native plants and animals. Hiking through the YEW, students will become eco-explorers, using their various senses to examine the plants and animals of the YEW. Students will be encouraged to explore the natural world by listening for bird calls, searching for animal prints in the mud, smelling a pungent marsh fleabane plant, and touching fluffy cottonwood and willow seeds.
K: Science S1C1PO1-2; S1C4PO1; S4C3PO1
1st: Science S1C1PO1-2; S4C3PO1
2nd: Science S1C1PO1; S1C2PO2-4
Wetlands Adaptations (3-4): Wetlands are defined as an area that contains water-soaked soil, water tolerant plants, and water at or near the ground’s surface. All that water can create challenging environmental conditions, including periodic flooding, saline soils and water, and a high degree of species competition. Wetland plants and animals must be able to survive in these tough conditions. On a guided hike through the YEW, students will explore plant and animal adaptations that allow species to thrive in these conditions.
3rd: Science S4C3PO3,5; S4C4PO1
4th: Science S4C1PO1; S4C3PO1; S4C4PO2
Water Quality Investigations (5-6): The health of a body of water can be assessed through water quality testing. During this program, students will investigate a number of water quality parameters, including temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen levels of Colorado River water. The testing results will then be analyzed to determine factors that may be influencing these results, and the overall significance of the results.
5th: Science S1C1PO1-2; S1C2PO1-5; S1C3PO1-3; S1C4PO1
6th: Science S1C1PO2; S1C2PO1-5; S1C3PO1-2; S1C4PO5; S4C3PO2; S6C1PO5
Wetlands Restoration (7-8): Over time, the natural wetlands that historically bordered the Colorado River have disappeared. Removal of the native cottonwood and willow forests, the construction of dams, and the introduction of invasive species all contributed to the disappearance of the wetlands. Through the YEW restoration project, however, the historic wetlands environment has been recreated. During this program, students will learn the story of the Colorado’s historic wetlands and the restoration of the YEW while participating in a guided bird hike. Binoculars provided.
7th: Science S1C2PO5; S1C3PO1-2,4-5; S1C4PO3,5; S3C1PO1-2
8th: Science S1C2PO5; S1C3PO1-2,5-6; S1C4PO1,5
Scheduling: To schedule a program, please call Interpretive Park Ranger Tammy Snook at (928) 317-0332. All programs cost $1/student and $2/adul
Interpretive Education Programs of the Colorado River State Historic Park
History of the Army’s Yuma Depot
The Yuma Quartermaster Depot served as an army supply depot between 1865 and 1883. Touring five original buildings of the depot, students learn the purpose of the site and its role in storing supplies for all the forts in Arizona Territory during the Indian Wars. Depot buildings on the tour include the old Storehouse, the Quartermaster’s Office, the Water Reservoir, the Quartermaster’s House, and the Corral House. Gr. K and up
Many different species of animals populate the desert around Yuma and live along the banks of the Colorado River. The skull bones of these mammals tell us a lot about the animals themselves—including what type of food they eat, how big of an animal they are, their sense of smell, and whether or not they have good eyesight. Using the skulls of native animals of this area, students will become skull detectives and learn how to “read” information from the skulls.
Emigrants of the Gold Rush
After gold was discovered in California in 1848, thousands of emigrants followed the Southern Trail to Yuma on their way to the goldfields. During this program, students will trace the route of the emigrants across the United States, discover the supplies brought for the long and arduous journey, and even pan for gold as the emigrants did!
Gr. 2, 5
An Army Soldier’s Life
The heydey of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot was during the Indian Wars period of the 1870s. When not on campaign, Army soldiers led a largely monotonous existence at their posts. By looking at the strict, daily routine of western soldiers in the 1870s, students will learn how the average army soldier spent much of their time during the Indian Wars period. Students will have the opportunity to explore the soldiers’ diet, drill in formation, learn bugle calls, and conduct fatigue duties.
Scheduling: To schedule a program, please call Park Manager Tammy Snook at (928) 317-0332. All programs cost $1/student and $2/adult.