2018-19 Discovery Center School Programs

All school programs align with Missouri grade level expectations. To ensure quality programs, please arrange to be at the Discovery Center for the full length of the program, plus lunch. Please add 30 minutes to program times for lunch. All programs include ample time outdoors, so please help children prepare accordingly. To schedule a program, please email dcprograms@mdc.mo.gov.

Discover Nature Schools programs

Programs align with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Discover Nature Schools curriculum and grant program. Each program is taught for a class with a minimum of 10 students and maximum of 25 students and no more than 75 total students. Kindergarten classes are limited to one workshop per day.

Acorn to Oak (K-2 grade) From seed to sapling to shade, trees change through the seasons and the years. Through movement and exploration, students will understand the lifecycle of a tree. On a hike, students will explore various life stages of trees, and learn how to identify common trees. Creation of a tree relief sculpture using recycled wood products helps students review and represent their new knowledge. (1 ½-2 hours)

Becoming Bears (K-1 grade) By becoming bear cubs, children learn from their “parent” to survive the seasons. Students will find safety in the spring and learn the variety of food bears eat during the summer, and then create a den site for winter’s hibernation. After learning the variety of skills needed to survive, students will emerge from the den as an independent black bear able to care for themselves. (1 ½ hours)

Outdoor Sensations (K-2 grade) The natural world is filled with sights, sounds, textures and smells. Students will see live animals and learn how wild animals rely on their senses to survive. Spending time outside, students will participate in hands-on activities, focusing on each of their four senses (not taste) to better experience the natural world. (1 ½-2 hours)

No Place Like Home (3-5 grade) Ecosystems provide organisms with everything they need to survive. Through hands-on investigation, students will explore and learn about the plants and animals living in Missouri ecosystems: pond, prairie and forest. This program culminates as small groups create an artistic expression incorporating plants and animals, food chains and non-living components of a specific ecosystem. (3-4 hours)

Staying Alive (3-5 grade) Through investigations of skulls, beaks, pelts and live animals, students identify specialized structures and how plants and animals use them to survive. This program culminates as students create an artistic expression of their own species and identify how they survive in their habitat. (3-4 hours)

Exploring Your Watershed (6-8 grade) We all live in a watershed and depend on clean water. Examine how our actions shape the waterways around us. Interact with the Brush Creek Model and go on a hike to see first-hand some of the challenging water quality issues in an urban setting. Students will assess water quality using live macro-invertebrates to determine the health of an ecosystem. (3-4 hours, not available December 1 through March 15)

Lewis and Clark themed programs

Each program is taught for a class with a minimum of 10 students and maximum of 25 students and not more than 75 total students. Crossing Missouri is taught for a minimum of 100 students and a maximum of 150 total students.

We Proceeded On (4-8 grade) Explore with York on the Missouri River in 1804. Discover the boats they used and how the river has changed over the years. There will be hands on activities like the stream table and quill pen writing. Students will also learn some of the fish and wildlife encountered by the Corps of Discovery. (1 ½-2 hours)

Trees of Discovery (4-8 grade) Explore the world of trees just like Meriwether Lewis did over 200 years ago. Students will learn how to identify local trees. They will then make leaf prints of the same trees that have a Lewis & Clark connection. (1 ½-2 hours)

Striking Directions (4-8 grade) Captain Clark is the host as students learn two skills that helped the Corps of Discovery survive. Students will learn how to utilize primitive fire-starting techniques along with using a compass for navigation. (1 ½-2 hours)

Through Their Eyes (4-8 grade) Explore with Sacagawea as student’s pack for the journey. Hands on activities will consist of constructing and using a plant press, discovering instruments used by Lewis & Clark, and learning about native plants. (1 ½-2 hours)

Crossing Missouri (4-8 grade - Rotational activities) The Lewis and Clark expedition crossed Missouri in 1804. Through hands-on experiences, students will learn how they survived. Engage in skills and learn about the land that provided for the expedition’s needs. (25 minute rotations, 3-4 hours)

Hands-on experiences in nature can help Missouri's K-12 students become life-long conservationists. Get teacher training, instructional units and funding for equipment and field trips.

To launch a Discover Nature Schools program in your school or class, contact your local education consultant by calling 816-759-7300 or visit the Discover Nature Teacher Portal.