MDC hosts DNS Kindergarten curriculum certification teacher training workshop Dec. 21 at Busch CA

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St. CHARLES, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites teachers to attend a Discover Nature Schools (DNS) teacher training workshop for Bears through the Seasons, the Kindergarten DNS science unit.  This program provides teaching materials and grant funding to help field trip costs.

The workshop will be held Thursday, Dec. 21 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles at 2360 Highway D, two miles west of Highway 94.  The workshop is free of charge for educators. 

MDC’s DNS 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 help teachers and students meet required state learning standards. The DNS program is currently used within every school district in Missouri.

Bears through the Seasons provides young students with the benefits of outdoor learning while accomplishing all required Missouri state kindergarten science requirements.  This DNS program is aligned to all Missouri Learning Science (MLS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) including the four domains of Earth and Space Science, Physical Science, Life Science, and Engineering and Technology Science.

Bears through the Seasons features four seasonal units and 23 lessons. All lessons are based on Missouri black bears and their habitat.  Each lesson uses the 5E instruction model beginning with Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate and tie into Missouri-focused phenomena.  They encourage young students to investigate questions such as “What lives in my schoolyard?”, “How do bears get their food using pushes and pulls?”, “Why do plants grow in different places?”.

The teacher training introduces teachers to the free student and teacher guides, as well as the MDC Teacher Portal and other resources. It will prepare teachers to teach the lessons both indoors and outdoors and address any concerns with outdoor structured activities. Participating classroom teachers who are certified following training are eligible to obtain the DNS Kindergarten Teacher Kit and funding to transport students on field experiences outside of school grounds.

The workshop is free however space is limited, and participants must register to attend. 

To learn more, visit  To register, log onto the MDC Teacher Portal at  Or to create an account, click the registration tab, and complete the short form.

For questions, contact MDC Conservation Educator Niki Wheaton at, or call 636-441-4554, ext. 4140.