The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), in partnership with Hannibal Parks and Recreation, and Missouri Bat Census, invites teachers to a free workshop in Hannibal.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), in partnership with Hannibal Parks and Recreation, and Missouri Bat Census, invites teachers to a free workshop in Hannibal.

The workshop will take place 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 1, beginning with a hike at Sodalis Nature Preserve, followed by an early break for lunch. The event will conclude in downtown Hannibal for a discussion on the history of the nature preserve, bat biology, citizen science opportunities and integrating nature-based learning in STEM curricula.

Missouri Bat Census Executive Director Kirsten Alvey-Mudd will lead participants along a two-mile hike on a paved trail at Sodalis Nature Preserve, identifying educational opportunities and discussing the history and importance of the area for more than 175,000 endangered bats.

“Sodalis is a great place for students to learn science,” said Hannibal High School Science Teacher Quinton Heaton. “It is a rich ecosystem that has not let me down on multiple trips with my students, and there are many awesome opportunities for citizen science projects provided in our local community.”

This workshop offers participants the opportunity to earn professional development credits, learn how MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program can help teachers, and discover ways to engage students in science inquiry, technology, engineering, and math subjects in nature.

“This workshop is designed to help teachers use the Sodalis Nature Preserve as a destination to enrich student learning experiences,” said MDC Conservation Education Consultant Kathi Moore. “Together with MDC’s Discover Nature Schools curriculum and field experience grants, teachers will be able to immerse students in conservation topics close to home.”

MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program provides no-cost curriculum units to teachers and schools in the state of Missouri. Curriculum units are available for preschool through grade 12 and are aligned with Missouri state standards in order to help teachers and students meet required learning expectations. 100 percent of school districts and approximately 40 percent of schools in the state participate in the program.

Participants should dress to be outside in the morning and bring comfortable shoes, a hat, water bottle, sunscreen and bug spray, as well as something to write with. The group will break for lunch, but meals will not be provided.

This event is free, but participants must preregister, as space is limited. To register, or for more information, contact Moore at Kathi.Moore@mdc.mo.gov or 573-248-2530, ext. 6378.

For more information about MDC’s Discover Nature Schools program, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/ZZ4 .