University of Iowa Mobile Museum

The University of Iowa Mobile Museum launched in 2014 as a partnership between the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Office of the State Archaeologist, and the Pentacrest Museums.

The Mobile Museum inspires visitors to understand the world by bringing exhibits with cutting-edge research, one-of-a-kind artifacts, and interactive digital media to Iowa’s communities statewide.  We promote interdisciplinary partnerships and collaborations to present UI research and stimulate understanding, appreciation, and pride for the University of Iowa and the state.

Our travel season is April 1st through October 31st. There are no costs associated with bringing the Mobile Museum to you. To plan a visit to your community, please complete this form. If you are a school and would like Mobile Museum to visit you, please fill out this form. You can preview what your students will learn in the museum by watching our pre-trip video


2018 Exhibits

The Mobile Museum features three physical exhibits:

Discover, Develop, Deploy

Translational science is a never-ending cycle of innovation and discovery that seeks solutions to improve the world’s health concerns. The University of Iowa’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Science supports researchers across a wide range of research questions. This exhibit highlights their work on nutrition, hearing loss, and supporting healthy families. ProtoStudios in Iowa City has been working with inventors at the University to make their ideas come to life. From printing devices that help the hearing-impaired to creating eyeglasses and beyond, this partnership shows that translational science is only limited by your imagination!

A Matter of Scales: Pangolins in Peril

Pangolins are amazing scale-covered mammals from Africa and Asia. Unfortunately they are critically endangered because of illegal hunting and trade. The pangolin data sculpture built by Professor Kevin Ripka tells the pangolin story using data visualization. Data visualization helps people understand large amounts of information by using imagery that makes data trends standout. In doing so, the exhibit works to raise awareness of this endangered group of animals in a fun and interactive way.

Pangolins aren’t the only animals in trouble. There are more than 25 endangered species right here in Iowa. Learn about some of the simple steps everyone can take to help.

Wild Iowa: Awareness, Appreciation, and Action

Wild Iowa highlights UI Recreational Services' outdoors programs including the Iowa Raptor Project, School of the Wild, and Wildlife Camps. Iowa is arguably one of the least "wild" states due to the loss of native habitats, but the UI's outdoors programs work to awaken Iowans to the importance of our native habitats through research, educational programs, and the savanna restoration project.

Digital Exhibits

Two interactive digital touchscreens let visitors learn about research and creative activity happening in a variety of UI units.  

Space and Power Requirements

If you’re planning a Mobile Museum visit, it’s important to make sure your space can accommodate us. We need a 20-foot by 40-foot parking area on a firm, level surface. The Mobile Museum also has a 110-volt electrical hookup that can use a 15-amp, 30-amp, or 50-amp plug. Don’t have an outlet we can plug into?  No worries—we can use our generator.

If you have any questions, please call (319) 335-2898 or email us at

2018 Mobile Museum Partners

Managing Partners

Collaborating Partners

Department of Biology
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Institute for Clinical and Translational Science
Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
Iowa Flood Center
Jeff E. Klahn, PhD
Katelyn McDonald, CMI, Biological and Medical Illustrator
Kevin Ripka, Assistant Professor, University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Lung Biology & Cystic Fibrosis Research Center
National Advanced Driving Simulator
National Center for Science Education
UI Health Care Marketing and Communications
University of Iowa Recreational Services
     Macbride Nature Recreation Area
     Iowa Raptor Project
     Wildlife Camps
     School of the Wild



Old Capitol Museum

University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist logo