Nature Unleashed helps elementary students understand ecosystem connections through exploring Missouri’s ponds, forests, and prairies inside and outside the classroom. Not only does the program meet the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Missouri Learning Standards, but there are also big benefits for students. A recent study of the program shows that Nature Unleashed increased the amount of time students spent in activities and field experiences outside the classroom. Learning outdoors improves student physical and mental health, increases scores on standardized tests, and reduces attention-deficit problems.
Nature Unleashed inspires students in ways that other programs do not, and test scores prove it. During the last four school years, over a third of teachers reported a decrease in student behavior issues on the days they taught the unit. Even more impressive, students in Nature Unleashed classrooms increased their scores by an average of 28 percent (significantly more than non-participating students) during the 2014-2015 school year.
Nature Unleashed emphasizes hands-on learning, teaches problem-solving, and provides authentic and local contexts for learning.
Key elements of the program include the follow items:
- full-color, illustrated student book
- student science notebook
- teacher guides with outdoor activities and lesson plans
- free training from Missouri Department of Conservation Education Consultants
- grants for field trips and exploration equipment
Teachers who complete this training and formally enroll in the DNS program are eligible for additional resources including grant opportunities for equipment and field trips.
Enrollment is limited to 20.