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.


Free Virtual Educator Workshops on Waste and Recycling

students sorting waste VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS
Thursday, January 28, 2021 OR Wednesday, February 3;
6–8 p.m.

Presented by EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden

If you’ve ever wanted to start your students thinking about trash and recycling, but didn’t know where to begin, we have something for you. This free workshop will provide you with the resources, tools, and knowledge you need to bring sustainability related topics to your classroom, virtual or in-person.

This workshop will be specifically focusing on how to help your students collect and analyze data at home or at school to help create a more sustainable world through the 8-Step Action Plan. We will also touch on best practices in recycling and composting.

In this workshop, you’ll:
  • Develop students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Help students plan, implement, and evaluate projects with real-world impacts.
  • Access cross-curricular, inquiry-based materials and lesson plans.
  • Get an understanding of what happens when we throw things “away.”
  • Build confidence in your own content knowledge.
  • Learn best practices to encourage environmental stewardship in students.

After attending this workshop, teachers in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and Jefferson County will be eligible to apply for one of four supply stipends worth $200 to help start a waste reduction project with your students. EarthWays Center staff will help support teachers through the development of their projects.

Contact Maggie McCoy at mmccoy@mobot.org or (314) 577-0281 if you have questions.

Learn more and register

VIRTUAL MSD Clean Water Educator Training

Wednesday, February 17, 2021;
6–8 p.m.

Presented by EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Get started in building your knowledge and understanding of stormwater issues in our area at an upcoming virtual teacher workshop. Workshops are designed to help facilitate teachers’ 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 or virtually.

Eligible Educators will receive a $75 stipend for completing Certification by 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.

This workshop is virtual and participants will receive a Zoom link after registration.

Contact Maggie McCoy at mmccoy@mobot.org or (314) 577-0281 if you have questions.

Learn more and register

Sustainability Institute for K–12 Educators


Due to complications and uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic and to keep all our Sustainability-minded educators safe, we are postponing the Summer 2020 Sustainability Institute for Educators.

We will be presenting this conference next summer, June 22–24, 2021. We will be providing resources related to the topics of climate change education, environmental justice, and educational equity at webster.edu/sie. This will be dynamic content available between now and the 2021 Institute.

Equity and Justice in a Changing Climate
June 22–24, 2021

The 2021 Sustainability Institute for Educators will focus on climate change and its interconnectedness with the E's of Sustainability: Economics, Equity and Environment. Educators will discuss principles of environmental justice and the impact of climate change while empowering learners to engage in civic leadership and action. Each day will feature a mix of special guest speakers, tools and resources, field studies and hands-on experiences. This three-day Institute challenges participants to build agency for a more just and sustainable world.

$150 registration fee includes speaker fees, breakfast and lunch for all three days. Graduate credit and scholarships are available. Hosted at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School, St. Louis, Missouri.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand and face the challenges of community issues as part of the school culture
  • Recognize local resources that can support curriculum and changes for sustainability
  • Collaborate with others to empower young citizens
  • Create a community of advocates for sustainable schools and communities
  • Setting a foundation for whole school sustainability

Learn more and register: webster.edu/sie

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

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