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 e-mail teachertraining@mobot.org.


Sustainability Institute for Educators


The Joy of Nature
June 20–21, 2022 | 8:30 a.m.–noon
$25 | Graduate credit and scholarships available

We are grateful for the technology that has kept us all connected during this time of social distancing and precaution, but it is now time to get outside together to appreciate the joy and experience the healing power of nature. The hands-on, experiential nature of Sustainability Education inspires and motivates us. The 2022 SIE returns to our roots with multiple onsite engagements to spark a renewed exploration of our region’s bountiful and diverse outdoor education opportunities. Join us for a two-day outdoor adventure, connect and reconnect to your sustainability colleagues and resources, and be inspired (maybe even get your hands dirty).

The Sustainability Institute for Educators challenges participants to help learners build awareness, recognize responsibility, and take action as global citizens working to build a sustainable world. Held annually in June, the institute is designed for K–12 and informal educators from all roles and environments.

Learn more and register: webster.edu/sie


Clean Water Educator Workshop

enviroscape2 Tuesday, July 26, 2022;
8:30 a.m.–noon

Get started in building your knowledge and understanding of stormwater issues in our area at an upcoming teacher workshop. This free workshop is designed to help facilitate your desire to learn more about stormwater management and water quality while discovering new ways to bring this topic back to their classroom.

During the workshop we will:
  • Discuss issues related to stormwater management and water quality such as non-point vs point source pollution, pollution impact, and best management practices for our community.
  • Review curriculum ideas that tie to state standards while still providing meaningful, engaging, and hands-on learning opportunities you can do with your students!
  • Train YOU on how to use the popular EnviroScape® watershed model; models are available for loan FREE from the MSD Clean Water Education program. 
  • Work with staff to learn how to present and use this model in your classroom.

Eligible Educators will receive a $100 stipend for attending this workshop and participating in the program. Educators must teach at a school located in the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District's service area to be eligible for stipend.

Learn more and register

Thinking Beyond the 3Rs

Recycle symbolThursday, August 4, 2022;
9 a.m.–4 p.m.

This FREE workshop provides educators from around the region with the resources, tools and knowledge they need to successfully integrate solid-waste related topics such as recycling, composting, household hazardous waste and waste in their classrooms. With this information, educators can help guide students to create changes and reduce waste in the classroom, at their school and throughout the community.

Learn more and register

Virtual Energy Efficiency Teacher Workshops

Various Dates
Join EarthWays Center at the 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*
  • Digital copies of all lesson activities and energy curriculum
  • 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


At Litzsinger Road Ecology Center

Students investigating the prairie

The following teacher professional development workshop is offered at Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, which is managed by the Missouri Botanical Garden:

Effective Outdoor Learning

For teachers NEW to Litzsinger Road Ecology Center
Middle School/High School: June 13–14, 2022; 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Learn how to become familiar with your schoolyard and to use it as a rich learning environment with your students. This free 2-day workshop kicks off a year-long partnership with Litzsinger Road Ecology Center (LREC).

By participating in this workshop, you may become eligible for:

  • Support from LREC staff in developing outdoor teaching and learning skills throughout the school year
  • Free field trips to the ecology center

Middle School/High School teachers register here for our June 13–14 workshop!


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 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

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