MDC hosts DNS Kindergarten curriculum certification teacher training workshop Sept. 20 at Powder Valley Nature Center

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KIRKWOOD, 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 Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood.  The workshop is free of charge for educators.  The nature center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44. 

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 continues to be very popular and is being used within every school district in Missouri.

“Much of the popularity of this particular curriculum is because it provides these young students with the many benefits of outdoor learning in addition to hitting every kindergarten science standard,” said MDC Conservation Educator, David Bruns.

This DNS program Kindergarten: Bears Through the Season 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 the workshop. 

To register for the workshop, visit, log on or create an account, click the registration tab, and complete the short form.

For questions, contact David Bruns at, or 314-301-1506, ext. 4212.  To learn more about MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program, visit the MDC Teacher Portal at