MDC invites teachers to a hybrid Discover Nature Schools Nature Unhooked workshop Feb. 15

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Saint Louis
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St. LOUIS, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a program that meets the educational curriculum needs of Missouri science teachers and includes unique grant opportunities. 

MDC invites teachers to attend a hybrid Discover Nature Schools (DNS) teacher workshop for Nature Unhooked, the DNS aquatic instructional unit designed for grades 6-8.  

Nature Unhooked is aligned 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 the properties of water, water cycle, biotic energy flow, biodiversity, and human impacts on aquatic ecosystems,” said MDC Conservation Educator, David Bruns who will be leading the virtual portion  “A project based learning component is also included in this unit. This hybrid workshop will cover lessons and activities from the unit as well as an outdoor, experiential approach to student learning.”

The workshop takes place in two parts.  The first is an online portion to be held Tuesday, Feb. 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  This portion introduces important facets of the teacher guide and student materials including unit overview, organization of lessons and activities, assessments, alignment to the MLS and NGSS, and appendices.  It will also cover the project based learning component, obtaining free teacher and student materials, outdoor field experiences, use of science notebooks and participation in the Nature Unhooked grant program.

The second “Field Portion” of the workshop will be conducted in-person, outdoors, at a field study location and date arranged with your local conservation educator. This section of the training will include an assessment of outdoor aquatic field experiences destination(s), using science notebooks for data collection, practice with science tools and resources, and student management tips and techniques.  COVID-19 guidelines will be followed during the in-person workshop.

“This unit benefits students on many different levels and is an outstanding way to get students engaged in place-based science practices in the outdoors,” said Bruns.

Participants who complete both portions of this workshop and who will be teaching Nature Unhooked to 20 or more students will become eligible to participate in the non-competitive grant program for science 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 Discover Nature Schools 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.  To register for the workshop, visit the Teacher Portal at, create an account or log in using an existing one, and complete the online registration form.

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