MDC to host Discover Nature Schools teacher training workshops in Columbia

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites teachers to a series of Discover Nature Schools teacher training workshops.  Participants will receive free training designed to improve conservation education in their classroom, home-school class, or youth group.  Upcoming training classes will take place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the MDC Central Regional Office, 3500 East Gans Rd. in Columbia on the following dates in June:

  • June 7, Nature Unfolds, grades K-2 (register by June 3)
  • June 10, Nature Unleashed, grades 3-5 (register by June 6)
  • June 14, Conserving Missouri's Aquatic Ecosystems, grades 6-8 (register by June 10)
  • June 29, Nature Unbound, grades 9-12 (register by June 25)

“The Discover Nature Schools program is an excellent way to get students of all ages outside and to enrich their learning through outdoor experiences focused on Missouri plants, animals and natural systems,” said MDC Conservation Education Consultant Kim Cole.

This workshop will prepare educators to teach the hands-on, course level expectations-based unit for their grade. Teacher’s guides and classroom sets of student guides and science notebooks are provided for free, and eligible schools can receive non-competitive grants for field experiences and classroom materials that support the curriculum units. Space is limited and reservations are required to ensure enough supplies for each training session.

“Learning in nature benefits children in several ways, including improving physical and mental health, improving standardized test scores, reducing attention-deficit problems and teaching problem-solving, synthesis and other higher-order thinking skills,” Cole said.

MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program provides no-cost curriculum units to teachers and schools in the state of Missouri. Curriculum units are available for preschool through 12th grade and are aligned with Missouri state standards in order to help teachers and students meet required learning expectations. 100% of school districts and more than 50% of schools in the state participate in the Discover Nature Schools program.

For questions or to register for the workshop, contact Cole at or 
573-815-7900, ext. 3964.

For more information about MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program, visit