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.


PlantLab Student Scientists

PlantLab Student Scientists logo In conjunction with the Missouri Botanical Garden's Plant Lab Student Scientist program, School Programs and Partnership is offering training sessions on the implementation of the PlantLab Student Scientist (PLSS) curriculum package for in class use.

On July 8 (9:30–10:45 a.m.) we will introduce elementary educators to the third to fifth grade level PlantLab Student Scientists units Botany & Biodiversity, Plants & People and Ecology & Engineering. These units provide special hands-on activities focused on plant collection and identification, the roles of plants useful to humans and community ecology respectively.

On July 9 (9:30–10:45 a.m.), we will introduce middle school educators to the sixth to eighth grade sections of PlantLab Student Scientists; The science driven Investigations & Application and the advocacy focused Sustainability & Services provide topical and in-depth explorations for middle school students.

Both sessions will be conducted outdoors at Missouri Botanical Garden grounds. Educators need to only attend one of the program dates, and there are no fees to attend.

To provide flexibility to schools and teachers the choice of these units is customizable, and limited curriculum materials will be provided via loan through these professional development sessions. However, space is extremely limited due to current Covid restrictions.

To inquire or sign up for this opportunity, please contact Matthew Magoc, Manager of School Programs and Partnerships at:

Learn more about the PLSS program


Virtual Energy Efficiency Teacher Workshops

Join EarthWays Center at the 2021 Energy Efficiency Educator Workshops virtually this summer! This free workshop is a great professional learning opportunity to discover new ways to teach energy. Educators will explore the science behind energy and sustainability through hands-on, interactive activities and classroom lessons.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Background information about energy topics including forms and sources
  • Discussion of energy efficiency and conservation
  • Connections between energy, electricity, and natural gas
  • Renewable energy sources and solutions

Participants will receive:

  • A stipend*
  • Flash drive with digital copies of all lesson activities
  • Energy science toolkit–please register a month in advance to receive your toolkit before the workshop

*Participants must live or work in either Liberty Utilities or Spire territory to qualify for stipend and energy science toolkit.

Educators from formal or informal setting with an interest in learning more about teaching energy topics including efficiency, renewable energy sources and sustainability should attend. Activities covered throughout the two-day session are aligned to support state standards and designed to be scaled to a variety of grade levels. Sessions are available in June, July and August!

Learn more, find dates and register


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.


Online Master's Degree

Adult students studying plantsCheck out a graduate degree program that combines web-based courses through Miami University with experiential learning, internships, and field study in person at the Garden. Learn more
EarthWays Sustainability Network (ESN)

The EarthWays Sustainability Network (ESN) is a year-long teacher professional development program that serves to provide waste and recycling support to educators throughout the St. Louis community. This network of trained educators is dedicated to learning more about waste, waste reduction, and recycling, takes a leadership role in their school's efforts to reduce waste and provides peer support and guidance to other educators.
Learn more

Missouri Botanical Garden E-Scoop logo
Check out our Education E-Scoop, a monthly resource featuring outdoor learning tips, science and literacy links and upcoming programs.
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Tales and Trails


This summer, join a family reading program that connects nature-inspired books with the great outdoors!
Learn more