History Adventures Online – Underground Railroad

Join Abby and Sophie this week to learn about the Underground Railroad! Explore the lives of Harriet Tubman and Charlotta Pyles, who helped people escape slavery while living in Iowa. Click the image below to download a printable worksheet with activities that will let you dive deeper into this important history.

Underground Railroad Worksheet image

History Adventures Online – Eyes on the Sky

African American pilot Bessie Coleman said, “The air is the only place free from prejudice.” At the dawn of the 20th century, aviation was new to the world and pilots Bessie Coleman and William J. Powell used flying to dispel discrimination. Learn about these two pioneering aviators and explore the ideas of flight with a craft and testing paper airplanes.

Download this week’s lesson plan for instructions on folding paper airplanes.


History Adventures Online – Chemistry Connections

In this week’s History Adventures program you’ll get to learn about George Washington Carver and his contributions to science. After the history lesson, Sophie and Abby will lead you through a hands-on chemistry activity: making homemade ice cream!

Homemade Ice Cream Ingredients & Materials:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla flavoring (vanillin)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sodium chloride (NaCl) as table salt or rock salt
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1-quart ZiplocTM bag
  • 1-gallon ZiplocTM bag
  • thermometer (Optional if you don’t have one)
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • dish towel
  • cups and spoons for eating your treat!


  1. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup whipping cream, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla to the quart ziplocTM bag. Seal the bag securely. 
  2. Put 2 cups of ice into the gallon ziplocTM bag. 
  3. Use a thermometer to measure and record the temperature of the ice in the gallon bag. (Optional?)
  4. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup salt (sodium chloride) to the bag of ice. 
  5. Place the sealed quart bag inside the gallon bag of ice and salt. Seal the gallon bag securely. 
  6. Gently rock the gallon bag from side to side. It’s best to hold it by the top seal or to have gloves or a dish cloth between the bag and your hands because the bag will be cold enough to damage your skin. 
  7. Continue to rock the bag for 10-15 minutes or until the contents of the quart bag have solidified into ice cream. *Voice over explanation here*
  8. Open the gallon bag and use the thermometer to measure and record the temperature of the ice/salt mixture. (Optional?)
  9. Remove the quart bag, open it, serve the contents into cups with spoons and ENJOY!

History Adventures Online – Super Soaked

Learn about Lonnie Johnson, inventor of the Super Soaker! After AAMI education interns Sophie and Abby lead a history lesson, they’ll show you how to make your own simple water sprayer using a plastic water bottle and a thumbtack*. After you learn about the science behind the Super Soaker, you’ll have a chance to have your own water fight outside!

*Adult supervision is recommended for this activity.

History Adventures Online – Expressions of Black Art

This year we are taking our History Adventures program virtual! This annual summer program provides opportunities for students to keep learning over the summer by engaging with topics from Black history. Each Wednesday through August 12 we will post a video made by AAMI education interns Abigail Kraft and Sophie Pionek featuring stories from history and activities that families can do at home.

This week’s History Adventures Online video is all about Black art! Watch to learn the stories of a few important Black artists and make some art of your own. Share photos of the art you make while watching this video by tagging our Facebook page or @BlackIowa on Twitter and Instagram.