Welcome to River City!

Welcome to the River City Research Project. With funding from the National Science Foundation, we have developed an interactive computer simulation for middle grades science students to learn scientific inquiry and 21st century skills. River City has the look and feel of a videogame but contains content developed from National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, and 21st Century Skills.

Introducing River City

As visitors to River City, students travel back in time, bringing their 21st century skills and technology to address 19th century problems. Based on authentic historical, sociological, and geographical conditions, River City is a town besieged with health problems. Students work together in small research teams to help the town understand why residents are becoming ill. Students use technology to keep track of clues that hint at causes of illnesses, form and test hypotheses, develop controlled experiments to test their hypotheses, and make recommendations based on the data they collect, all in an online environment.

Since the River City Project is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, access to the simulation, curricular materials, professional development, and just-in-time assistance are provided free of charge to schools. Our current grant is exploring issues of scale –– bringing River City to diverse schools across the United States, Canada and Mexico –– and we are always looking to collaborate with like-minded educators.

Is River City Right for You?

All middle grades (6-9) teachers in North America are invited to participate in the River City Project. Although we traditionally work with science teachers, we have worked with social studies, math, and language arts teachers with much success. Visit our page, “Is River City Right for You?” to take your first steps toward implementing River City with your students.

As you explore our website, please feel free to email the Research Team at rivercity.support@gmail.com with questions and comments or if you would like to get involved.