Missouri Botanical Garden Outreach Programs

The Missouri Botanical Garden offers outreach programming to take the Garden out into the community. While visiting at your site, students will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in botanical and ecological experiences through the nature in your neighborhood. Our educational programs provide your students with an opportunity to explore plants, local biodiversity, global ecology, and sustainability within the familiar surroundings of your classroom and school

Missouri Botanical Garden outreach programs are available year-round for educators. Each of our program sessions lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour and facilitates up to 25 students. Educators may request multiple sessions of the same program during a single visit, up to three sessions in one day.

Outreach program fees run $150 for the first session and $50 for additional sessions of the same program held on the same day at the same site.

All registrations are accepted on a first come, first-served basis. Outreach sessions must be booked four weeks in advance of your intended program date. Please email schoolprograms@mobot.org for more information or to request a program.

All outreach opportunities led by the School Programs and Partnership Team at the Missouri Botanical Garden are currently fully booked through mid-June 2024.

Check out our virtual programs.

Seasonal Schoolyard Explorations (PreK)

Seasonal Schoolyard Explorations
Grade PK
Capacity: 25 student
s per session.

Email schoolprograms@mobot.org to request a program.
  Hands holding soilDiscover the Nature in your Neighborhood! This series of seasonally-appropriate outreach programs will get your students outdoors and exploring your schoolyard in a whole new way. During fall, we’ll explore leaves and how they provide food not just for plants, but for animals and insects as well. In the winter, we’ll make a simple bird feeder and look at the ways plants and animals in our area respond to cold weather. In spring, we’ll look at the life that thrives in the dirt under our feet. In Summer, we will follow the journey of a monarch butterfly and look at ways that plants and insects interact. Schedule one outreach, or even all four, for a year-long outdoor adventure!

A Garden Sensory Adventure (PreK–K)

A Garden Sensory Adventure
Grade PK–K
Capacity: 25 students per session.

Email schoolprograms@mobot.org to request a program.
  Boy using magnifying lens to view flowersExplore the five senses with the Missouri Botanical Garden! Using songs, literature and sensory stations, your students will learn which part of the body is responsible for each sense and discover the wonderful world of plants. Each student will plant basil seeds to take home and share with their families.

Honeybees Abuzz (PreK–K)

Honeybees Abuzz
Grades PK–K
Capacity: 25 students per session

Email schoolprograms@mobot.org to request a program.
  Bee pollinating flowerExplore the important, natural process of pollination. Have you stopped and watched honeybees in action? Has it made you wonder about what the bees were doing and why? Honeybees help plants and people in many ways. We will read a story about the hard-working honeybee, learn the bee waggle dance, see how pollination happens and, if allowed, share a snack made with honey.

Plant Part Palooza (K–2)

Plant Part Palooza
Grades K–2
Capacity: 30 students per session.

Email schoolprograms@mobot.org to request a program.
  Assorted vegetablesDid you know that humans eat roots? And stems? And flowers? Learn about different parts of plants and their important functions that help a plant survive. And also, how we, as humans, rely on different parts of plants as a food source. Enjoy tasting some healthy plant parts after studying them like scientists. And enjoy planting radish seeds to take home and share with families.

Plant Adaptations (3–8)

Plant Adaptations
Grades 3–8
Capacity: 30 students per session.

Email schoolprograms@mobot.org to request a program.
  CactusImagine that you were magically transformed into a plant living in a desert. What kind of challenges would you face to survive? What about a rainforest? Or pond? Plants live in different ecosystems and have to adapt to survive in their habitats. Learn about various plant structures that help them survive in their ecosystems.

Flower Physiology (6–12)

Flower Physiology
Grades 6–12

Capacity: 30 students per session.

Email schoolprograms@mobot.org to request a program.


FlowerExplore the diverse and fascinating world of plant life cycles with this one-hour outreach presentation. Students will dissect a flower and observe flowers of various types to explore the relationship between flowers and their pollinators.


Sustainability Outreach Programs

The Garden's sustainability division, EarthWays Center, offers a variety of sustainability programs for students.

EarthWays Center school programs

Sustain Game (K–12)

Sustain Game
Grades K–12

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.
  students in a huddleIn this hands on game, students will balance taking the resources they need to survive against preserving some resources for future generations.

Essential Questions: How can I better understand my role in using natural resources sustainably? What does it mean to use resources sustainably?

Living the 3Rs (K–5)

Living the 3Rs
Grades K–5

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.
  Crumpled up paperThe 3Rs are a great way to conceptualize actions that help the environment. In this lesson, students will discuss what can and cannot be recycled, as well as ways to reduce and reuse these items.

Essential Questions: What can I do to reduce waste and conserve resources?

Decomposer Detectives (K–5)

Decomposer Detectives
Grades K–5

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  worms in soil held in child's handsComposting is a great way to teach about life cycles. In this lesson, students learn the basics of composting through hands-on exploration of an active vermicomposting (worm compost) bin.

Essential Questions: How can humans mirror natural processes to reduce waste and live more sustainably?

Making Recycled Paper (1–5)

Making Recycled Paper
Grades 1–5

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  Student making recycled paperStudents work through the process of making paper from scrap paper. This exercise helps students better understand the recycling process of turning waste into new products for the market.

Essential Questions: How does the recycling process help conserve natural resources?

Full Circle Stories (4–8)

Full Circle Stories
Grades 4–8

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  students and teacher sitting in a circleExplore the definition of sustainability and how students can use stories as a way to encourage others to be sustainable. Students will write a creative short story about the adventure of one item from production to recycling or disposal.

Essential Questions: How can story telling help people understand the impact of their actions? Can creative stories inspire people to change their daily behavior?

Garbology 101 (4–8)

Garbology 101
Grades 4–8

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  person walking with trash bagStudents use a 3D tabletop model to explore the engineering and design of modern landfills in order to better understand where our garbage goes when we throw things away.

Essential Questions: How does the waste we generate impact us and our environment?

HHW or Safe? (4–8)

HHW or Safe?
Grades 4–8

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  bucket of household cleanersThrough a discussion and interactive product sorting activity students will be introduced to the topic of household hazardous waste and the impacts of these products to human health and the environment.

Essential Questions: What responsibility do consumers, like myself, have in protecting human health and the environment from hazardous materials?

Recycling Science (6–12)

Recycling Science
Grades 6–12

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  Hands sorting plastic bottle capsLearn how Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and manufacturers use science and engineering to separate and recover materials. See how physics and chemistry are creating a more sustainable world!

Essential Questions: What role do science and engineering have in creating and managing waste?

Green or Greenwashing (6–12)

Green or Greenwashing
Grades 6–12

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  Cleanser containersIn this program, students are encouraged to put on their critical and conscientious consumer thinking caps! They will be equipped to evaluate product labeling with a series of informed questions and empowered by their opportunity to make impactful choices as consumers.

Essential Questions: What steps does it take to become a more conscientious consumer? What tools and techniques do advertisers use to convey their ideas, messages, and beliefs?

Sustainability Shark Tank (6–12)

Sustainability Shark Tank
Grades 6–12

Call (314) 577-0281 to schedule.

  students working togetherAre you ready to use your creativity to create a new recycled product? In this class, students will learn about the three-legged stool of sustainability and use that framework to develop a new product out of recycled material.

Essential Questions: How can businesses adapt to serve social, environmental, and economic needs?