• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Teacher Workshops

Teachers examine organisms found in leaf litter during a teacher workshop
Teacher workshop participants examining the organisms found in leaf litter.

Most workshops are offered free of charge or at a reduced rate. See below for details on upcoming workshops.

Upcoming Workshops

Bring your Classroom to the Smokies and the Smokies to your Classroom
September 6, 2104 at South Doyle Middle School, Knoxville, TN
Bring life to your classroom by adding the inventorying and monitoring of live organisms to your lessons. You will go away with the tools to replicate studies used in the Smokies with your own students at your school. We will provide you with take home tools to enhance STEM inside your classroom and showcase our inquiry and monitoring curriculum based programs offered at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This workshop will also count towards 6 hours of system wide credit. To register please email.

Making STEM Easy
Saturday, October 4 from 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Zoo.
The workshop focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts for middle and high school teachers. It will provide activities and demonstrations on how to teach some of the more difficult parts of STEM such as engineering, chemistry, and geography/GIS. The workshop also focuses on technology resources for the classroom including hands-on demonstrations of software and apps that can enhance classroom learning. Each session will include tools, techniques, and resources to help enhance classroom experiences and further engage students in STEM curriculum.

Funding for this workshop is made possible through a grant from the Alcoa Foundation through Friends of the Smokies. As a requirement of the funding grant, participating teachers will be required to bring their students on a free field trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the 2014-2015 school year. Rangers will work with the teachers to reach all necessary curriculum goals.

The workshop will include lunch, free materials, and take-home resources. Flexible in-service hours will be offered to all participants (must be approved by your school). Limited space is available and registration closes on Tuesday, September 23rd. Please contact Emily Guss to register at 865-436-1713.

Got Elk? Fall Research in the Smokies
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014
Spend the weekend exploring fall in the beautiful Cataloochee Valley, home to the new elk herd in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We will also participate in several citizen science studies designed to monitor the impacts of air pollution to park resources. These studies can be replicated back in your schoolyard or other nearby natural area. Sign up for this workshop through the NC Museum of Natural Science. The cost is $75 but it includes lodging at Lake Junaluska and several meals for the weekend.


Education Facilities

The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is a residential environmental learning center located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tremont offers workshops and programs for everyone, from teachers to grade school children to Elderhostel groups. Several special programs for teachers are offered including Teacher Escape Weekends, a Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification series, and Science Teacher Institutes, to help you improve your teaching skills while enjoying the beauty of the park. For more information, call (865) 448-6709 or visit the Tremont website.

Tremont also offers the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program (SANCP) in partnership with the University of Tennessee. Complete eight courses to earn a certificate in natural history and interpretative skills.

The Smoky Mountain Field School offers high-quality workshops, hikes, and adventures for people who want to enhance their enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of the Smokies and the great outdoors. For more information and a schedule of programs, call (865) 974-0150.

Did You Know?

President Roosevelt at the park's Rockefeller Memorial.

Money to buy the land that became Great Smoky Mountains National Park was raised by individuals, private groups, and even school children who pledged their pennies. In addition, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund donated $5 million to create the park. More...