Division of Environmental Quality

Environmental Outreach Programs Offered by
the St. Louis Regional Office

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources' St. Louis Regional Office offers outreach programs to schools and youth groups. This public service is provided at no cost for residents of Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Lincoln, Montgomery, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren counties.

Unfortunately, due to recent staff changes, requests for school education programs will be accepted on a limited basis as time allows.   The priorities for staff are conducting inspections of regulated facilities, investigating citizen concerns, etc.  We apologize for not being able to fulfill every request.

The department uses concepts from ecology, chemistry and systematics in our daily work.  Many of the following presentations show how we apply these concepts to local environmental evaluations.  Presentations also show the important role that citizens can play in reducing pollution.

Fill out our online Outreach Request page to schedule a presentation or for more information please contact:

Linda Wegrzyn
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
St. Louis Regional Office
7545 S. Lindbergh, Suite 210
St. Louis, MO 63125
314-416 2960
Email: linda.wegrzyn@dnr.mo.gov

Water Pollution

Water Cycle Reenactment Project Wet - Water Education for Teachers logo.
In this whole body activity, students pretend to be “raindrops” and travel through the water cycle, visiting plants, animals, rivers, ground water, and oceans.  Students move through the processes of evaporation, transpiration, and precipitation along their journey and discuss the three physical states of water.  When pollution is added to the system, students observe human impacts on the water cycle. At the end of the presentation, participants draw a picture of their journey through the water cycle.  Students also learn how citizens can reduce water pollution.

Grades: 2-4     Class Size less than 30     Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed: Strand 4 – Grade 4: 1. D.
Strand 5 – Grade 1: 3. A., Grade 3: 1. C., 2. E.

Macroinvertebrate Identification
Students will identify preserved specimens of macroinvertibrates found in a Missouri stream such as mayfly larva, dragonfly larva, scuds, etc. Students use a dichotomous key to classify macro invertebrates to the phylogenic level of Order. Interactions among organisms and their environment are explored. Students also learn what citizens can do to reduce water pollution to keep our ecosystems healthy.

Grades: 4-6     Class Size less than 30     Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed: Strand 3 - Grade 5: 1. E.
Strand 4 – Grade 4: 1. D.
Strand 5 – Grade 6: 3. A.

Who Polluted Big Creek?
Students learn about the four primary types of water pollution and the effects of water pollution on our ecosystems. Students also learn the concept of a watershed, and learn about the watershed they live in. Then students investigate common sources of urban pollution to try to solve the mystery of who polluted Big Creek. Interactions among organisms and their environment are explored. Students also share their thoughts about how to reduce or eliminate many common sources of non-point source pollution.

Grades: 6-9     Class Size less than 30     Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts: Strand 4 – Grade 6: 1. D., Grade 9: 1. D.
Strand 5 – Grade 6: 3. A.

Water Pollution in Missouri
What are the major sources of water pollution in Missouri?  Students learn about the four major types of water pollution, and common water pollution sources.  Students use a worksheet to analyze pollution sources and learn which of these has the most impact on Missouri’s water bodies.   Students also learn about what chemicals have caused some streams in the St. Louis area to be listed as “impaired”, and what citizens can do to reduce stormwater pollution. 

Grades: 9-12     Class Size less than 30     Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed: Strand 4 – Grade 9 - 11: 1. D.

ECOSYSTEMS

Ecosystem Connections
The terms food web, producers, consumers, and decomposers are defined, along with herbivore, omnivore and carnivore. Students also discuss the concepts of a habitat, an ecosystem, and how each organism plays a role in keeping our ecosystem balanced. 6th graders also explore the factors that affect the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support.  Finally students put it all together by impersonating a species native to Missouri and exploring that creature’s habitat to see the species connections.  This activity is done outdoors in a natural setting on the school grounds or at a camp. At least two school or camp personnel need to be present, and clear boundaries set for the area students can explore.  

Grades: 4-7     Class Size less than 30     Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed: Strand 4 - Grade 4: 1. D., 2. A.
Grade 6: 1. A. B. D.

Air Pollution

Air Pollution 101
Students learn about the six criteria pollutants designated by the EPA including ozone air pollution.  Students will also learn about the health effects of ozone air pollution and how it is created.  The St. Louis area is still a non-attainment area for federal clean air standards for ozone.   Students use a worksheet to determine what type(s) of air pollution are created by many common activities.  They also share some examples of common activities that create air pollution to find out who’s “The Biggest Polluter”. 

Grades: 9-12     Class Size less than 30     Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed: Strand 4 – Grade 9 - 11: 1. D.

Air Pollution at School
Buses that leave the engine running and parents that let cars idle at school create a lot of air pollution right where children are breathing.  This presentation includes basic information about air pollution, ozone air pollution in the St. Louis area, and how to create an idle reduction program at your school.  Students will divide into groups to create posters, a letter to bus drivers, and other parts of an idle reduction campaign.

Grades: 6-8                Class Size < 30                                 Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed: Strand 8 – Grade 6-8: 1. C.

Energy

Your Energy Future
Students explore energy use in the residential sector and the energy use of school buildings in a PowerPoint presentation.  Students are asked about the environmental consequences of our energy use, and are provided with information about a forecast for the future that focuses on renewable sources. They will also learn about the energy improvements at one of the nation’s green school buildings through the narrative of students from Kinard Middle School in Colorado.  Then students calculate the energy savings of common energy efficiency improvements. 

Grades: 6-12     Class Size less than 30     Time: 45-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed: Strand 1 - Grade 9-11: 2. A. f.
Strand 8 - Grade 6-11: 1. C.

Solid and Hazardous Waste

Electronics Recycling in Missouri
Is your cell phone considered a hazardous waste?  Through a PowerPoint presentation, students review data about electronics waste in the United States and Missouri.  High school students will learn about the properties of elements and compounds commonly used in electronics.  Junior high students learn about conductors, semi-conductors and insulators.  They will also recognize the limited availability of major mineral deposits in the United States, and the negative impacts associated with mining.  Students also learn about the Missouri Computer Equipment Collection and Recovery Act and find out about the resources at http://www.ecyclemo.org.

Grades: 7-12     Class Size less than <30     Time: 40-60 minutes
Missouri science concepts addressed:
Strand 1 – Grade 7 – 2. A. l.; Grade 8 – 1. A.; Grade 9 – 11: 1. A. d.
Strand 4 – Grade 9 - 11: 1. D.
Strand 5 – Grade 9 – 11: 3. A.
Strand 8 – Grade 6 -12: 1. C. 

What other activities or educational resources would you like to see the department offer?  Send us your feedback.

Recycling and Waste Reduction Presentation Links

St. Louis County

St. Louis City

St. Charles County

Jefferson County

St. Louis Teachers Recycle Center