Featured Pathway

The People of Iowa

The People of Iowa

About 12,000 years ago humans began to live in the land that became Iowa. Since this time people have continued to move to and through the state. Groups have continued to bring unique cultures and traditions to share. Individuals have inspired others. The contributions of Iowans have shaped the state and the world.

Discover how their experiences tell the story of who we are as Iowans.

For Teachers

Explore Iowa history milestones and their connections to U.S. and world events. Compare and contrast events across different themes in history. View Iowa's past in a whole new way.

For Teachers

Create your own story of Iowa history. Are you ready for a challenge?

Teacher Resources

Iowa Past to Present Online Teacher's Guide

Iowa Past to Present

Iowa Pathways is now the home for the online teacher's guide for the revised 3rd edition of the Iowa Past to Present textbook, published by University of Iowa Press. The teacher's guide includes additional articles, videos, links and curriculum resources supporting each chapter of the textbook. View the guide

Iowa Heritage Series Now Online!

The Iowa Heritage, a resource often only available to teachers in VHS or film form, is now available FREE online! The Iowa Heritage covers Iowa's history from prehistory through the present and provides a vivid and personal look at Iowa's development, culture and achievements. Watch the videos

Classroom Resources

Iowa Pathways teacher resources support a wide variety of educational needs. Strategies, events, lessons and activities are classroom ready. Find it all in Teacher Resources.


Explore Iowa History

Discover the people, places, events, and ideas of Iowa history. Create your own story of Iowa as you go to unexpected places and search the past and present. Travel down side trails and uncover artifacts as you explore your Iowa pathway .

The story of Iowa started long before people ever lived on the land. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and ice helped form the landscape of this area for over 1 billion years. Nomadic people roamed what is now Iowa nearly 12,000 years ago, hunting large mammals like mammoths, mastodons and caribou. About 2,500 years ago, people gradually started settling near rivers as they learned farming techniques, beginning our agricultural tradition. The rivers turned into transportation routes for trade, which brought European trappers, traders and explorers in the late 1600s.

The past 200 years have seen settlers coming to Iowa from across the world to farm the land, make a home and become Iowans. Small towns and big cities flourished. New immigrants continue to change the face of our state. Iowa's foundation in education continues to develop workers, artists, innovators and leaders. The people, products and ideas of the state continue to change our nation and the world.

After thousands of years of Iowa history, there are many stories to be told. There are stories about schools and businesses, people and communities, wars and government, artistic endeavors and transportation systems, agricultural enterprises and environmental changes. All of these things make up Iowa history. But the true story of Iowa is your own.Get Started

What is your Iowa story? Find your Iowa pathway.


Search, sort, and view hundreds of photos, videos, and more. You may be surprised at what you uncover.


Browse all artifacts

 Featured Partner: State Historical Society of Iowa 


Iowa Pathways: Iowa History Resources for Students and Teachers
Home ~ My Path ~ Artifacts ~ Timeline ~ Quest ~ Teacher Resources ~ Project Information ~ Sponsors
Iowa Pathways © 2005 - 2016 Iowa Public Television