The Discover Nature Schools (DNS) program, Nature Unleashed, is a curriculum of 8 lessons designed for 3rd-5th grade students to promote understanding of Missouri habitats by exploring food chains and the roles of producers and consumers as well as specialized structures and biotic and abiotic factors. The curriculum supports Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) in science, particularly life science. The hands-on, inquiry-focused lessons provide outdoor learning opportunities where students can explore their own schoolyard. Summative assessments are provided for each unit.
The Nature Unleashed curriculum includes the following free materials:
- Fully colored, illustrated student books
- Student science notebooks
- Lesson plans that include outdoor exploration and summative assessments
- An initial $1000 non-competitive school-wide grant for classroom materials and an annual travel reimbursement for field experience. A $500 non-competitive maintenance grant for classroom materials is available after every 3 years of participation in the Nature Unleashed program.
This training introduces teachers to the free teacher and student materials as well as the MDC Teacher Portal and other resources. It prepares participants to teach the lessons and address concerns with structured outdoor activities. All materials will be provided
Participants who teach life science to 20 or more students in a DESE recognized school will become certified to participate in the non-competitive grant program for equipment and field trips that support the unit. Procedures for participation in the DNS grant program will be covered.