The Missouri Botanical Garden will conduct for three years, a series of short courses for teachers in grades 4-8 in the Metropolitan St. Louis area for training and up-dating of education materials in ecology and environmental sciences. Over a three year period, 90 teachers will be selected for this project. These teachers will better serve their students with their enhanced knowledge of ecology and environmental sciences, and by integrating this knowledge into the newly mandated Missouri Core Competencies and Key Skills required in all classrooms. The proposed short course will enable teachers to learn ecology/environmental science concepts, to develop effective environmental science curricula based on the "learning cycle" and to implement those curricula successfully in the classroom by providing teachers with positive and successful role models. Teachers will complete the objectives of the short course by meeting seven times over 12 months. The long time-frame allows for development and implementation of curricular material in the classroom The Short Course will be offered in conjunction with the University of Missouri - St. Louis and each participant will receive three graduate credits from the University. All participants will develop an independent project to be tested in the classroom. This project fits our program needs in that it has as its focus teachers in the middle grades, in a metropolitan area with a high percentage of minority students and provides updating in an area of importance to all students. The Missouri Botanical Garden and the School Districts have contributed an amount equal to 37% of the National Science Foundation award.