Hands-on, inquiry-based scientific learning experiences provided through Science and Education Outreach programs at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center enable students to become scientists. The curriculum packages offered through the Danforth Center teach important skills such as critical thinking, developing and testing hypotheses, observing outcomes, communicating results, lab etiquette and teamwork.

Green Means Grow

This community-funded program encourages students and teachers to “green up their classrooms” by providing Earthbox® systems or plant growth lights, trays and potting supplies to qualifying classrooms. Assistance in growing plants is provided upon request, along with seeds or plantlets. Learn how to use plants in teaching and have fun at the same time! Greenhouse advice and support in how to integrate plant science into the science curriculum is also available.


Missourians Doing Impact Research Together (MO DIRT) is a citizen science program within an NSF-funded, state-wide, multi-institutional research project to help scientists understand soil, the atmosphere, and the impact of soil health on global warming.  The program “crowd sources” soil analyses and data collection to Missouri citizens, including K-12 students, who record relevant data about soil temperature, soil type, topsoil depth, clay content, soil moisture, and soil respiration. The data provide a more complete picture of impact of climate change on agricultural productivity and natural resources of the state of Missouri.
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Mutant Millets – Linking Students, Teachers and Scientists

Bring inquiry learning and real science research in modern agriculture into the classroom by studying wild type and mutant Setaria viridis, a small fast-growing grass related to rice, wheat, barley, oats and other grain crops. Setaria viridis, or green foxtail millet, is also a model plant for engineering C4 photosynthetic traits into C3 plants. With support from the DOE and NSF, students can analyze lab-generated mutant seed populations by growing and comparing plants to find traits that are useful to scientists who are improving crops for food, feed, and fuel.
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Professional Development Workshops for Educators

Hands-on, inquiry-based workshops are conducted at the Danforth Center for elementary and secondary grade level science teachers throughout the year. Recent workshops have focused on (1) green biofuels and bioenergy, (2) new ways to teach plant photosynthesis,(3) plant propagation and plant tissue culture, (4) classroom experiments in plant biochemistry and (5) bioinformatics and computational biology.

Watch for upcoming workshops on the Center’s website or contact Terry Woodford-Thomas, Ph.D. by phone 314.587.1436 or email to have your name placed on our email list.

St. Louis Raspberry Pi Jam

The St. Louis Raspberry Pi Jam is a semi-annual event offering attendees of all ages the opportunity for hands-on science and engineering through experiencing a variety of stations with Raspberry Pi microcomputers, circuits, soldering metal with supervision, and other do-it-yourself projects. Nearly 700 guests ages 7 to 70 have attended this innovative event.  For more information contact, Melia Gehan, mgehan@danforthcenter.org
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Terry Woodford-Thomas, Ph.D.
The Derick and Sally Driemeyer 
Director of Science Education and Outreach 

Danforth Center
975 N. Warson Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63132 
(314) 587-1436