Virtual Options
Options to Connect with Nature from Anywhere

Storybooks and Nature (PreK–K)

Join us for short (10–15 minutes) nature lessons based on stories to learn about Missouri plants and animals. These programs will be recorded and the teacher will receive a link to the video.

  • Group Size: 8 to 30 students
  • Fee: No fee but registration required.
  • To Register: call (314) 577-9523 or email kbryan@mobot.org.

Nature on the Pages (Grades 1–3)

Join us for nature lessons based on stories (pre-recorded) followed by a chance to ask Shaw Nature Reserve staff members questions about Missouri plants and animals. This program can be paired with the Nature Buddies program.

  • Group Size: 8 to 30 students
  • Fee: $75 ($50 per class when registering for 2 or more classes). Scholarships available.
  • To Register: call (314) 577-9523 or email kbryan@mobot.org.

Nature Buddies Letter and Picture Program (Grades 1–3)

boy writing outdoorsIn this nature-themed pen pal program, students will be paired with a Shaw Nature Reserve volunteer to share what they see outside of their window at home, near their school, or in their neighborhood. Students will write about or draw what they observe and send it to their Nature Buddy and their Nature Buddy will do the same. Program will be 4 weeks, but can be extended.

  • Group Size: up to 30 students
  • Fee: No fee
  • To Register: call (314) 577-9523 or email kbryan@mobot.org.

Virtual Ecosystem Explorations (VEE) (Grades 4–12)

These student- and nature-centered classes focus on the interdisciplinary skills and practices needed to explore and make sense of the natural world, including making observations, asking questions, developing explanations, and sharing ideas.  Students directly engage with nature as they observe, practice, discuss, and reflect on nature in and around their home, at school, and virtually at Shaw Nature Reserve. VEE classes connect students with Missouri’s native ecosystems as well as with the nature around them and help to foster life-long wonder, awe, and curiosity for the natural world. VEE classes are grade-level appropriate and support many Missouri Learning Standards.

  • Group Size: up to 30 students
  • Fee: $100 per class ($75 per class when registering for 2 or more classes) Need-based scholarships available
  • To Register: call (314) 577-9539 or email jdockins@mobot.org.
  • Other Details: Each VEE class consists of 3 parts:
    • A pre-program activity introducing students to Shaw Nature Reserve, DBOC education staff, and the skills students will practice throughout the program
    • A live virtual visit with Shaw Nature Reserve focusing on developing observation skills, asking testable questions, making evidence-based explanations, and sharing ideas to investigate and understand native Missouri ecosystems 
    • A post-program challenge in which students are encouraged to share discoveries, ideas, and questions with their peers and DBOC education staff as they explore the natural world in and around their home and school
  • Prior to programming, Reserve Education staff will work with teachers to arrange access to the school’s preferred video platform and determine grade-level appropriate program components to support their classroom curriculum. VEE classes are grade-level appropriate and support many Missouri Learning Standards.

Virtual Ecosystem Exploration (VEE) Class Descriptions: