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What is River City?

River City is a Multi-User Collaborative Virtual World that simulates a 19th Century town facing a devasting illness. As visitors to River City, students travel back in time, bringing their 21st century skills and technology to address 19th century problems. Based on authentic historical, sociological, and geographical conditions, River City is a town besieged with health problems. Students work together in small research teams to help the town understand why residents are becoming ill. Students use technology to keep track of clues that hint at causes of illnesses, form and test hypotheses, develop controlled experiments to test their hypotheses, and make recommendations based on the data they collect, all in an online environment.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, we have developed this interactive computer simulation for middle grades science students to learn scientific inquiry and 21st century skills. River City has the look and feel of a videogame but contains content developed from National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, and 21st Century Skills.

River City is offered by Activeworlds, Inc. through a licensing agreement with Harvard University. We have a long history of working to enable teachers and schools with easily accessible and stable virtual worlds since 1995. We are proud that many teachers have found the River City Project to be an extremely valuable tool for reaching students. We are committed to making sure that this continues both in the past and the future!

We are currently exploring issues of scale - bringing River City to diverse schools across the United States, Canada and Mexico - and we are always looking to collaborate with like-minded educators.


The River City Project is no longer supported by outside funding or grants. It is a financially self-sustaining program.

There is a nominal per student fee or a site license for participating schools. This cost is outlined below. Educators should investigate whether they are eligible for funding such as Title 1, IDEA or other methods. Additionally, by moving to this model many teachers and students who have previously not been eligible due to the research requirements might now be able to take advantage of this outstanding teaching tool.

Since there is such a range in the size of classes using River City we have created a licensing structure that is based per student with discounts for larger class sizes.

These are for unique Student names

10 Student Class $129.00

20 Student Class $250.00

50 Student Class $550.00

100 Student Class $1000.00

For pricing of classes larger than 100 students please contact us with your needs

Our goal is to make sure that as many students as possible can benefit from the program. We have based our pricing on numerous conversations with your community. Some teachers have suggested that they might make this a lab fee.

We realize that some districts are hard pressed for funding. If you would like to discuss anything regarding this pricing structure or what our plans for the future are, please feel free to contact us directly.

Once again thank you for your response and continued support. We are sure the coming school year will be better than ever and by working together we will make RiverCity a great place to take a class!

Is River City Right for You?

All middle grades (6-9) teachers in North America are invited to participate in the River City Project. Although we traditionally work with science teachers, we have worked with social studies, math, language arts and even phys. ed. teachers with much success. Visit our page, Is River City Right for You? to take your first steps toward implementing River City with your students.

As you explore our website, please feel free to email us at rivercity@activeworlds.com with questions and comments or if you would like to get involved.

- The River City Team

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