Sun, Sand, and Sustainability – Summer Professional Development Opportunities

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Sun, Sand, and Sustainability – Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Thinking Beyond the 3Rs 

June 18, 2024 

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 solid-waste related topics like recycling, composting, and waste reduction into your classroom and empower students to make change in their community. The “Thinking Beyond the 3R’s” workshop was developed to assist educators in curriculum support, implementing special projects, and creating behavioral changes that promote wise resource use in schools throughout the greater St. Louis region. We encourage educators from all schools, subjects, and grade-levels to attend. 



In this workshop, you will:

  • Get a full 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.
  • Visit an active landfill and materials recycling facility.
  • 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. 

Register here!

Sustainability Institute for Educators 

June 25- 27, 2024 | 8:30 AM - 4 PM (daily) 


Designed for educators from all roles and environments, participants in this year's Sustainability Institute for Educators will explore the significance of biodiversity in education, daily lives, and our communities. Through interactive sessions and presentations by local biodiversity experts, educators will learn how to cultivate a sense of wonder and respect for nature’s processes and equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to address today’s challenges. Sessions will demonstrate how a range of disciplines can work together to understand biodiversity issues, opportunities and needs through education and youth engagement while highlighting local examples of local, regional, and global biodiversity work. Join hosts Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Zoo, Webster University, and Missouri Gateway Green Building Council to gain knowledge, tools, strategies, and community networking to explore solutions for a healthier, more diverse and more sustainable world for all! Registration is $125 for all three days and includes lunch. Scholarships and graduate credits available.

Learn more! 

Energy Efficiency Educator Workshops 


Join Missouri Botanical Garden at the 2024 Energy Efficiency Educator Workshops this summer! We are offering in-person and virtual workshops across Missouri. 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 access to all lessons and activities
  • Energy science toolkit  

Educators from formal or informal settings with an interest in learning more about teaching energy topics including efficiency, renewable energy sources and sustainability should attend. Activities covered throughout the workshop are aligned to support state standards and designed to be scaled to a variety of grade levels. 

Workshops are available in June, July, and August in cities across Missouri so that you can pick the best date and location for your summer plans. 

*You must live or work in Spire or Liberty Utilities territory to qualify for a stipend and toolkit. Check your local utility here

More information and registration details here 

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education  

July 15–16, 2024 – with one additional regional cohort day July 17 


Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center is leading a cohort of educators to the Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, hosted by Climate Generation. 

This three-day experience will have powerful and engaging keynote speakers, meaningful discussion about the intersection of social justice and climate change, and collaborative conversations between a national network of climate change education leaders. You will leave feeling reinvigorated for the new school year and prepared to educate your students to be global citizens. 

Here are the details:

  • Where: Online! Register here
  • Who: Missouri Botanical Garden, Climate Generation, NOAA’s Climate Office, and educators across the nation!
  • Scholarships Available – Application deadline for scholarship is May 3, 2024. Apply here!
  • Graduate Credits Available 

This July 15-16th, you will gain the skills, tools, and resources to teach climate change concepts and empower students in all subject areas, and receive on-going support throughout the year. 

Clean Water Educator Workshop


July 25, 2024 

Get started in building your knowledge and understanding of stormwater issues in the St. Louis area! 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 the 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 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 the stipend.  

Register here 

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