DNS Life Sciences educators class

A cornerstone of MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program is giving students outdoor learning experiences. To help introduce teachers to the Nature Unleashed unit of DNS, MDC is providing a hybrid virtual/in-field workshop in June.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Discover Nature Schools 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.

To help introduce teachers to the unit of the program designed for grades 3-5, Nature Unleashed, MDC is providing a hybrid DNS workshop comprised of a virtual portion on June 17 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This will be followed up later in the month by an in-person field component with an MDC conservation educator.

Participants who teach life science to more than 20 students and complete both portions of this hybrid workshop will become eligible to participate in the non-competitive grant program for equipment and field trips that support the unit.

This “virtual portion” covers the teacher guide student materials and unit overview. It will also show how the unit connects to Missouri Learning and Next Generation Science Standards.

Educators will learn about the unit’s outdoor field experiences and the DNS science notebooks. The workshop will also address how to obtain the required materials at no cost, and the Nature Unleashed grant program.

Completion of this virtual portion is recommended prior to arranging the field portion. A link to this online workshop will be sent by email a few days before the workshop date.

The second “field portion” of the hybrid workshop is to be conducted in-person, outdoors, at a field study location. The date has yet to be arranged. Covid-19 safety protocols will be followed as needed.

This section of the training will include assessing outdoor spaces for field experiences, using science notebooks to collect data, practice with science tools and resources and strategies to facilitate outdoor student hands-on investigations in school yards and field trip sites.

Emphasis of Nature Unleashed is on investigations of ecosystem components, cycles of matter and energy transfer, interdependent relationships and human impacts.

The hybrid workshop free but advance registration is required. To sign up for the workshops, go to the MDC Teacher Portal at MDC Teacher Portal (mo.gov) and log in with account credentials, or follow the link to create a new account.

For more information on this DNS Nature Unleashed workshop, go to https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zrv.