MDC offers another workshop to certify teachers in Discover Nature Schools kindergarten unit at Shaw Nature Reserve Jan. 20

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Gray Summit, Mo.– The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Discover Nature Schools (DNS) program is a win-win opportunity for both educators and students.  It provides high-quality science units designed to meet the needs of teachers while preparing Missouri's students to become life-long conservationists through hands-on experiences in nature.  Multiple units are fine-tuned to serve the needs of grade levels from K-12.

To help meet demand for certifying teachers in MDC’s new kindergarten unit, Bears Through the Season, MDC is conducting another teacher workshop on Friday, Jan. 20 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit.  The comprehensive workshop is free to educational professionals.  Participating teachers become certified to receive the DNS Kindergarten Teacher Kit and grants to fund transportation for field experiences away from the school.

The Bears Through the Season DNS program is designed specifically for kindergarten students. This curriculum is aligned to Missouri Learning Science (MLS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) including the four components of Earth and space science, physical science, life science and engineering, and technology science.

This curriculum explores the four seasons with four seasonal units and 23 lessons. All lessons follow the life cycle of Missouri black bears in their natural habitat. Each uses the 5E instruction model beginning with Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate and ties into Missouri-focused phenomena.  The unit investigates questions such as “What lives in my schoolyard?”, “How do bears get their food using pushes and pulls?”, and “Why do plants grow in different places?”

The workshop covers both the student and teacher guides, and other engaging books for the students.  Teachers will learn how to conduct field investigations that emphasize science practices correlated with current curriculum standards.   The workshop qualifies teachers to receive the kindergarten teacher kit with materials supporting lessons, as well as a DNS transportation grant to reimburse actual bus costs for field experiences related to the units.

The DNS Bears through the Season workshop is free but advance registration is required.  To sign up,

teachers should go through the MDC Teacher Portal and register through their existing account at  To set up a new MDC Teacher Portal account, go to

For more information, contact MDC Conservation Educator Kayla Rosen, or 314-577-9555.

Shaw Nature Reserve is located at 307 Pinetum Loop Road, off I-44 exit #253 in Gray Summit.