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2020 Missouri River All Stars After-School Program

Every student dreams of being on an All-Star team.

In this after-school program, 100 Columbia Public School 4th graders and 8 teachers will have the opportunity to learn about the Missouri River ecosystem and the impact that humans have on the river. 


Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

We want you to know that Missouri River Relief is working diligently to give thoughtful consideration about how our proactive decisions can impact our program opportunities and keep families safe across our region. We have evaluated the “Missouri River All Stars After School Program” for the spring of 2020 and have decided to cancel this program. To learn more about our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic visit this link.

About the Program

In the spring of 2020, Columbia Public Schools is collaborating with Missouri River Relief to offer 4th graders and teachers the opportunity to learn about the Missouri River ecosystem and the impact that humans have on the river. This will be done through an after-school program and teacher professional development called “Missouri River All-Stars After School Program" between the month of April-May 2020.

Selected Schools 

2020 Columbia Public Elementary Schools include:

  • Fairview Elementary School 

  • Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School 

  • Rock Bridge Elementary School 

  • Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School 

Past Columbia Public Elementary Schools that have participated in this after school program have included: 

  • Midway Heights Elementary 
  • Benton STEM Elementary 
  • Battle Elementary 
  • Fairview Elementary 
  • Blue Ridge Elementary 
  • Mill Creek Elementary 
  • Russell Boulevard Elementary 
  • Cedar Ridge Elementary 
  • Paxton Keely Elementary 
  • Parkade Elementary 

Selected Columbia Public Elementary Schools for the spring of 2020 are yet to be determined. 

Program Curriculum 

Missouri River All-Stars will provide 25 students in each of the selected schools with four, after-school programs and one on the river experience on Saturday, May 9th, 2020 to support their understanding of how various groups (i.e. scientists and farmers) perceive and experience environmental issues. These lessons follow a Missouri River theme that includes:

  • Lesson 1: Discovering the Missouri River
  • Lesson 2: Structure and Behaviors of the Pallid Sturgeon 
  • Lesson 3: Forces that Shape the Pallid Sturgeon Decline 
  • Lesson 4: Recovery Plan for the Pallid Sturgeon: On the River Experience
  • Lesson 5: Debate for the Fate of the Pallid Sturgeon 

Teacher Curriculum Development 

During the program, two teachers at each of the selected elementary schools will be supported to draw on their Missouri River All-Stars experience to develop NGSS aligned environmental science and engineering based lessons. They will then implement these lessons in their own classrooms. These lessons will be compiled in a curriculum pack that will be made available to other teachers.  

On the River Experience

Date: Saturday, May 9th, 2020
Location: Katfish Katy’s
All members of the Missouri River All-Stars program are eligible to participate in an on-the-river experience. During this experience, students have the opportunity to go for a boat ride on the Missouri River to learn more about the recovery plan of the Pallid Sturgeon. 


2019 Program Research Results

From 2018-2019, we partnered with the University of Missouri’s College of Education to research how students explore socio-scientific issues while supporting science learning and the development of scientific literacy. This helps students develop their scientific thinking, argumentation skills, and moral reasoning.  In partnership with the College of Education, we shared our program research at the National Science Teacher Association Conference.

The research findings as portrayed below, saw students more accurately understand that scientists' should not always follow a set method, but instead should utilize many methods including researching pallid sturgeon in their natural environment.  Students also understood that disagreement among scientists were a normal and important component of scientific processes. 

Students portray Science Study

ReCap of Missouri River All Stars 



  • Click here for photos from Missouri River All-Stars on the river. 
  • Click here for photos from Missouri River All-Stars in the classroom.
  • Click here for a blog post from Missouri River All-Stars.  


  • Click here for photos of Missouri River All-Stars on the river. 
  • Click here for photos of Mo River All-Stars in the classroom.
  • Click here for a blog post from Missouri River All-Stars.  


  • Click here for photos of Missouri River All-Stars on the river. 
  • Click here for photos of Mo River All-Stars in the classroom.

Missouri River All-Stars Staff

Kristen Schulte, Education Director 

The Missouri River All-Stars is managed by Kristen. She is responsible for the planning, designing, and implementation of the Missouri River All-Stars. She had over nine years of experience in environmental education and a Master of Science in Natural Science Education fromTetonScience Schools Residential Graduate Program. In addition, she has been certified for over seven years as a Wilderness First Responder. In her role at Missouri River Relief, she works to advance our mission of connecting people to the Missouri River with an emphasis on education. 

Laura Waldo-Semken, AmeriCorps VISTA: Education Assistant & Program Instructor  

The Missouri River All-Stars is instructed by Laura Waldo-Semken. She is responsible for delivering classroom lessons. Laura grew up in Kansas City, fell in love with the Kansas River in Lawrence, moved to Iowa and proceeded to fall in love with all the rivers that lead to the Mississippi. She has been a part of the environmental education community in Iowa for 19 years, leading wildlife camps for children ages 5-15. Laura will assist in the organization, implementation, and marketing of education programs targeting title one schools and community organizations that work with low-income individuals.

For any questions, e-mail or call 573.443.0292.

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