MDC hosts Discover Nature Schools teacher training workshops in Columbia

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites teachers to attend upcoming Discover Nature Schools teacher training workshops. These workshops provide free training for teachers interested in improving conservation education in their Missouri classrooms, home-school classes, or youth groups. These two upcoming workshops will take place 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the MDC Central Regional Office, 3500 East Gans Road in Columbia:

  • Nov. 16, Nature Unleashed, grades 3-5 (register by Nov. 14)
  • Nov. 18, Conserving MO’s Aquatic Ecosystems, grades 6-8 (register by Nov. 16)

“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.

These workshops 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 participants must make reservations 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 and other higher-order thinking skills,” said Cole.

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 questions or to register for a workshop, contact Kim Cole at or 573-815-7900, ext. 2964.

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