MDC hosts DNS Nature Unleashed teacher workshop Oct. 15 at Powder Valley Nature Center

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KIRKWOOD, Mo. — MDC invites teachers to attend a Discover Nature Schools (DNS) teacher training workshop for Nature Unleashed, the DNS life science unit designed for grades 3-5.  This program provides grant funding to help cover equipment costs and field trips.

The workshop will be held Saturday, Oct. 15 from 8:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.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.

“The Discover Nature Schools program is an excellent way to connect students of all ages with the benefits of outdoor learning and provides a place-based, experiential, approach to science education focusing on Missouri plants, animals and ecosystems,” said MDC Conservation Educator, David Bruns.

The DNS program, Nature Unleashed, is a curriculum of 8 lessons designed for 3rd-5th grade students to promote understanding of Missouri habitats by exploring food chains and the roles of producers and consumers, as well as specialized structures and living and non-living factors. Emphasis of this unit is on student-centered and collaborative investigations of pond, prairie, and forest ecosystems. Nature Unleashed supports the Missouri Learning Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Nature Unleashed curriculum includes the following free materials:

  • Full color, illustrated student books
  • Student science notebooks
  • Lesson plans that include outdoor exploration and assessments

Educators who teach life science to more than 20 students will be certified to participate in the non-competitive grant program for equipment and field trips that support the unit. 

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.  For more information about MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program, visit the MDC Teacher Portal at