MDC hosting Discover Nature Schools teacher training workshops in Columbia in August

News from the region
Published Date

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Teachers, are you interested in receiving free training to improve conservation education in your Missouri classroom, home-school class, or youth group? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites teachers interested in MDC's Discover Nature Schools program to attend an upcoming training class in August from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MDC Central Regional Office, 3500 East Gans Road in Columbia on the following dates.

  • Aug. 4: Nature Unfolds, Grades K-2
  • Aug. 6: Nature Unleashed, Grades 3-5
  • Aug. 11: Conserving Missouri's Aquatic Ecosystems, Grades 6-8
  • Aug. 13: Nature Unbound, Grades 9-12

"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 by Aug. 1 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 twelfth grade and are aligned with Missouri state standards in order to help teachers and students meet required learning expectations. Approximately 98% of school districts and about 40% of schools in the state participate in the 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