OSA education and interpretation staff provide all levels of consultation services for outreach initiatives, including strategy and planning, content research, development, design, and review for print and digital interpretive media, websites, curricula, and exhibits. Our goal is to ensure that information being communicated about Iowa's archaeological past and cultural history is research-based and scientifically accurate, representative of Iowa's descendant communities, and accessible to multiple types of learners.

Content Research

Archaeological science and interpretation changes with continued research and innovation in the field. OSA educators have access to about 300,000 documents and photographs on archaeology, cultural history, and natural history, and can disseminate that research for public audiences. This research is often used for exhibits and interpretative or educational materials, or it is kept on file by organizations for future use.

Requests for information that targets specific locations, time periods, or topics will incur fees for the staff time required to locate and disseminate applicable documents and images and redact confidential information if applicable. Find general information about Iowa archaeology on our Research, Explore, Visit page.

A women stands in front of a museum display that says "Oneota Archaeological Connections"

Museum Exhibits

Whether you are updating older exhibits or building new ones, OSA can assist with every level of planning and development. If you are writing your own exhibit materials, we provide content research or copy edit/review services to ensure your content information is accurate, up to date, and culturally appropriate. OSA can select appropriate artifacts and objects from OSA collections for museum loans and research and recommend high quality imagery from our collections. We also have the expertise to write museum content that is accessible to multiple audiences and graphically design or layout exhibit text, imagery, and artifact displays. 

An interpretive center placed next to a river

Print Media & Interpretive Resources

Pamphlets, booklets, interpretive maps and guides, and interpretive panels are frequently produced by OSA, and we can assist with all levels of content planning and development. This includes content research or copy edit/review services to ensure your information is accurate, up to date, and culturally appropriate. We have experience writing for various ages and audiences, provide graphic design services, and work with many different printing companies. 

screenshot of Meskwaki Talking Papers interactive site showing pictographs and hotspots

Digital Media & Interpretive Resources

OSA builds websites, writes, website content, and manages websites for multiple organizations and works with multiple types of online platforms to produce outreach materials. We can create touchscreen content for museum exhibits and kiosks or educational HTML5 or "flipbook" interactive web resources, produce and edit educational videos, and produce and edit audio narrations. We strive to make our digital content as ADA accessible as possible. Visit the "Explore" and "Visit" sections of our Research, Explore, Visit page to see some examples of our digital outreach projects.

Promotional art for Investigating a Midwestern Wickiup curriculum

K-12 Lessons & Curricula

OSA's education team is overseen by a director with a graduate degree in education, and prior to working at OSA, education staff taught as K-12 classroom teachers, naturalists, and informal educators. We create K-12 activities, standards-based lessons, curricular units, and activity kits, and have contributed material to Project Archaeology, the Society for American Archaeology, the National Council for the Social Studies, and Science Friday. We can assist whether you need background research or archaeological information for developing your own lessons, an experienced educator to create materials, or content view and copy editing. Our primary goal is to ensure that archaeology lessons are as accurate as possible and do not perpetuate common misconceptions. We also conduct educator workshops focused on using archaeology for multidisciplinary learning in the classroom and outdoors.

Evaluation, Assessment & Research

With collegiate and professional training in formal and informal educational evaluation, OSA has the experience to plan and carry out or collaborate on components of formative and summative project and program evaluations. This includes writing evaluation plans; creating logic models; designing data collection instruments; carrying out data collection via questionnaires, surveys, observations, and interviews; analyzing data; and completing evaluation reports. OSA stays abreast of the latest research in archaeology and heritage education, contributes archaeology education research articles to national journals, and provides editorial and peer reviews for the Journal of Archaeology and Education.

Cover art for Iowa Valley Scenic Byway Management Plan

Interpretive & Management Plans

OSA initiatives are strategy-based, aligned with missions and goals, and audience-focused. OSA archaeologists and educators frequently assist local, state, and federal agencies and organizations with developing interpretive plans, long-range interpretive plans, and management and master planning documents. A portfolio is available upon request.

Fees for Services

can be found at the bottom of our Education & Interpretation page.