MDC hosts Discover Nature Schools teacher training workshop in Columbia

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites teachers to an upcoming Discover Nature Schools – Nature Unfolds teacher training workshop. This training focuses on curriculum designed for children in kindergarten through second grade. It includes four seasonal units that focus on seasonal changes, weather, lifecycles, and parent-offspring relationships.

This educator workshop will take place Thursday, March 10, 5:30–8:30 p.m., at the MDC Central Regional Office, 3500 E. Gans Road in Columbia. Space is limited and registration required at: For more information, contact MDC Conservation Educator Jenna Stiek at, or (573) 815-7901, ext. 2886.

To help ensure public health and safety, MDC asks all participants to observe current, local guidelines regarding physical distancing and masking. MDC strongly encourages participants to bring and wear face coverings at all in-person events.

The Nature Unfolds curriculum supports Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) in science, particularly in life science. The hands-on, inquiry focused lessons provide outdoor learning opportunities where students can explore their own schoolyard. This training introduces teachers to the free teacher and student materials, as well as the MDC Teacher Portal and other resources. It prepares participants to teach the lessons and address concerns with structured outdoor activities. Participating teachers become certified to receive the DNS grant funding for classroom materials and field experiences.

The Nature Unfolds curriculum includes the following free materials:

  • Fully colored, illustrated student books
  • Student science notebooks
  • Lesson plans that include outdoor exploration and summative assessments
  • An initial $500 noncompetitive schoolwide grant for classroom materials and an annual travel reimbursement for field experience
  • A $250 noncompetitive maintenance grant for classroom materials is available after every three years of participation in the Nature Unfolds program.

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. Approximately 99% of school districts and 40% of schools in the state participate in the Discover Nature Schools program.

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