MDC goes to the Science Fair

News from the region
Published Date

JEFFERSON CITY–Science-fair contestants now can compete for extra recognition through the Discover Nature Schools (DNS) program.

Fifty-one percent of Missouri school districts participate in DNS, which is a science-education program from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Recognizing that many science-fair projects have natural ties to its science curriculum materials, MDC decided to offer extra recognition for outstanding science-fair projects. The result is the DNS Science Fair.

“There is no extra work or travel involved,” says MDC Education Programs Supervisor Kevin Lohraff. “Teachers can simply email photos and descriptions of projects for judging. Winners will receive ribbons, medals, or wooden plaques for their achievements.”

Lohraff says teachers, not students, must submit entries for the DNS Science Fair competition. To qualify, students must be enrolled in a class teaching a DNS unit. Entries must show a connection to at least one DNS activity. DNS does not have to be mentioned in the project, and entries need not have been entered in another science fair. However, all entries must meet criteria for display rules listed on the Academy of Science-St. Louis Science Fair website,

The DNS Science Fair competition will take place in three rounds. Round 1 will be judged by teachers at participating schools. Teachers will submit winning entries for Round 2 by March 15.

Round 2 will be judged by MDC education consultants, who will send winners on to Round 3. MDC’s Central Office in Jefferson City will judge Round 3 and notify winners by May 1.

Round 3 winners will receive plaques. Their schools will receive plaques and equipment for classroom use in teaching science.

DNS continues to grow every year. To learn more about DNS Science Fair, visit

-Jim Low-

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