St. LOUIS, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites educators to attend a hybrid Discover Nature Schools (DNS) teacher workshop for Nature Unbound, the DNS high school level instructional unit. This DNS program provides grant funding for high schools to help cover science equipment and field trips.
The workshop will be held in two parts. The first is an online portion to be held Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; the second will be an outdoor field portion held in person and scheduled later.
Nature Unbound is correlated with the Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Emphasis of this unit is on student-centered and collaborative investigations of ecosystem dynamics, cycles of matter and energy transfer, interdependent relationships, and human impact on biodiversity. The curriculum expands on classroom teaching with an outdoor, experiential approach to student learning. All materials are provided, and grant funding is available to cover transportation costs.
The virtual portion on Feb. 23 introduces the Nature Unbound teacher guide and student materials including a unit overview, organization of lessons and activities, assessments, and connection to the MLS and NGSS.
The second field portion of the workshop will be conducted in-person at an outdoor field study location and the date arranged with local MDC conservation educators. Face coverings and social distancing Covid-19 safety protocols will be followed. This section of the training will include an assessment of outdoor spaces for field experiences, using science notebooks for data collection, practice with science tools and resources, student management tips and techniques, and the development of a natural resource management plan as a culminating project. Completion of the virtual portion is recommended prior to attending the Field Portion.
“This fabulous opportunity will help teachers enable their students to experience authentic conservation practices first hand within a Missouri context,” said MDC Conservation Educator David Bruns.
Participants in this workshop who teach life science to more than 20 students will become eligible to participate in the non-competitive grant program for equipment and field trips that support the unit.
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 two-part workshop is free; however, participants must register to attend the workshop. To register for the workshop, visit the Teacher Portal at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZW3 create an account and complete the online registration form.