Teacher Professional Development
Teachers netting invertebrates“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”
—Mark Van Doren

At the Missouri Botanical Garden, we regard teachers as close colleagues. The role they play in our world is simply heroic, and we thank them for their daily, unwavering commitment to creating curious, lifelong learners. To support and strengthen teachers, we offer a diversity of courses, workshops and other experiences in the summer and throughout the school year.

Some schools and districts count Garden professional development toward district-required professional development units. College credit is available for select summer workshops.

For more information, please call (314) 577-0819 or e-mail teachertraining@mobot.org.

Summer 2014 Teacher Workshops

Sustainable Schoolyards
Monday, June 9– Friday, June 13, 2014
9 a.m.–4 p.m. each day
Litzsinger Road Ecology Center
Fee: None

For K–12 teachers. Building on the principles of outdoor, place-based education, participants will be introduced to teaching methods for investigating the history and ecology of their school and for enhancing the schoolyard as a habitat with their students and in support of the curriculum. Litzsinger Road Ecology Center (LREC) will provide assistance and guidance through the next school year. This workshop is open to teachers who have experience with outdoor education or have had a prior partnership with LREC. Applications will be accepted from teams of two or more teachers.

Learn more or register

3-R’s Workshop
Tuesday, June 17–Thursday, June 19, 2014
9 a.m.–5 p.m. each day
Missouri Botanical Garden & EarthWays Center team
Fee: $150 per participant

For K–12 teachers. Learn how to integrate waste reduction topics into your classroom experiences. Participants will spend three days learning about reducing, reusing and recycling in the St. Louis area. Educators will experience behind the scenes tours of facilities and develop a deeper understanding of issues related to solid waste. Field trips may include site visits to a landfill, material recovery facility, transfer station and other business and facilities engaged in innovative ways to reuse materials, compost and recycle. Please note: Specific start and end times may vary on each date. Snacks and lunch each day is included in the fee.

Learn more or register

Effective Outdoor Learning
NOTE: Both sessions are now FULL
June 25–27 OR July 28–30, 2014
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Litzsinger Road Ecology Center
Fee: None

For K–12 teachers. Discover the learning opportunities in your schoolyard and community as you begin a yearlong partnership with Litzsinger Road Ecology Center (LREC). During this 3-day introduction to place-based education, you will become acquainted with outdoor learning and the unique opportunities it presents for your students to achieve curricular goals in science and across the curriculum. You will be introduced to Discover Nature Schools, an outdoor curriculum published by the Missouri Department of Conservation and become eligible to receive funding for outdoor learning equipment. LREC will provide instructional and technical support through the next school year. No fee for class or follow-up student field experiences. Call (314) 409-4947 for more information.

Both sessions are now full, and no additional registrations are being accepted.

Games, Models and Simulations: New Tools for Student Engagement
NOTE: this workshop is now FULL
Monday, July 21–Friday, July 25, 2014
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Litzsinger Road Ecology Center
Fee: None

Spend a week with colleagues learning how to leverage the power of MIT’s free, kid-friendly StarLogo Nova tools. We’ll spend time designing games, models and simulations, and look at how you can use these tools to help kids meet the modeling emphasis in the Common Core Math and Next Generation Science Standards. We’ll also share our experiences supporting kids as designers. Where you go over the course of the week and beyond is up to you: Whether you are modeling ecosystem dynamics, disease transmission or traffic patterns, the underlying tools and approaches are the same. Participants will have ongoing support during the school year as you build modeling into your curriculum. Designed for teachers grade 4 and up.

This workshop is now full, and no additional registrations are being accepted.

Professional Development Outreach

Administrators—Are you looking for professional development opportunities for your staff?

The Missouri Botanical Garden's School Programs team offers topnotch STEM and inquiry training for K–12 that can be incorporated into an established professional development day or offered as an evening or weekend program at your school. Programs typically last 45–60 minutes and serve up to 30 teachers. Additional programs may be scheduled within the same day to serve larger groups.

Outreach costs for professional development programs are:

  • $150 for the first hour and $50 for each additional hour (to take place the same day).
  • $1/mile over 20 miles.

Professional development programs may be uniquely designed for your school upon request. (Additional planning costs may be incurred. These will be discussed with you prior to scheduling.)

Please call (314) 577-0819 or e-mail teachertraining@mobot.org to discuss programming options.


Looking for More Nature-inspired Ideas?

Missouri Botanical Garden E-Scoop logo
Check out our Education E-Scoop, a monthly resource featuring outdoor learning tips, science and literacy links, upcoming programs…and maybe even you! Throughout the year, we’ll spotlight teachers and students who are connecting with, caring for and conserving the natural world we all share.
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(January–December 2013)