MDC invites teachers to Discover Nature Schools training workshops in Columbia

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites teachers to 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:

  • Aug. 3, Nature Unfolds, grades K-2 (register by Aug. 1)
  • Aug. 5, Nature Unleashed, grades 3-5 (register by Aug. 3)

“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.

This workshop will prepare educators to teach the hands-on, course-level, expectations-based unit for their grades. Teacher guides and classroom sets of student guides and science notebooks. Eligible schools can receive 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, synthesis and other higher-order thinking skills,” Cole said.

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. Almost all school districts and 40 percent of schools in the state participate in the Discover Nature Schools program.

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

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