Located in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building, the Union Pacific Railroad Museum honors the legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad and the communities that developed around it during its construction.

As of this publication, in-person experiences are temporarily unavailable, but the museum offers an extensive online resource called “Legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad Virtual Program.” Students grades 3-12 can learn about American frontier history and technological evolution through source materials specifically aimed at various age groups. Students are encouraged to analyze the clues, consider different perspectives and draw your own conclusions.

This two-part program is flexible and adaptable to any method of at-home or in-classroom learning. Students will work with primary source documents specially selected for grades 3-6, 7-9 or 10-12 to understand the history of the Transcontinental Railroad from multiple perspectives.

The individual half involves students completing a creative project with primary sources. Students will craft an argument that answers a historical question about the Transcontinental Railroad and use historical documents to support their interpretation. The group half, conducted with the museum via video chat platform, is about delving deeper into understanding and learning from primary sources.

The museum will provide each student with a box containing primary source reproductions and other necessary materials. Resource boxes must be requested at least three weeks in advance and can be picked up or delivered.