Teacher Workshops


Educators learn while working in the field with research scientists and park rangers.

NPS photo


Upcoming Workshops

Got Elk! Fall Research in the Smokies
October 30 - November 1, 2015 in Cataloochee Valley
Elk abound in Cataloochee Valley. Spend the weekend learning about their reintroduction back to the Smokies. Participate in several long-term monitoring research projects that have easy application to the classroom. Participants receive transportation, lodging and classroom materials. Register through the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Cost $85 (includes some meals, lodging and transportation to and from Raleigh, NC).

Mountains, Macros and Mind Pies
November 7, 2015 at Cherokee Middle School, Cherokee, NC, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Join NPS park rangers and staff of Cherokee Middle School as we immerse ourselves in creative ways to use outdoor STEM lessons in the classroom. Activities will focus on hands-on learning, authentic assessments, incorporating Cherokee culture in STEM lessons and ways to use student collected data in the classroom. Includes lunch, classroom materials and door prizes. Register online with Seeking Paths in Nature (SPiN).

STEM in the Schoolyard
November 7, 2015 at the Knoxville Zoo, 9:00am - 4:30pm
Attend this free workshop for effective student centered methods to expand your classroom into the schoolyard. Learn methods to teach STEM with little prep or supplies. Plan to spend most of the day in the zoo learning from leaders in the field of environmental education. Each session will include hands-on learning, tools, techniques and resources to start you on your way to your schoolyard as an outdoor classroom. Includes light breakfast, lunch, door prizes and resources. To register, contact Steve McGaffin.

Wild About Elk
November 21, 2015 at Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee, NC, 9:30am - 3:00pm

Participants will learn about the life history and management of elk, as well as how to incorporate activities about elk into the NC Curriculum. To register, contact Tanya Poole with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Citizen Science for the Classroom
December 4-6, 2015 at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

Citizen Science is the perfect way to bring the scientific method into the classroom. Learn while participating in several projects, some national and some with a regional focus, that you can use to monitor nature in your schoolyard. Learn how you can use these projects to teach students how to ask relevant scientific questions, analyze datasets and communicate their findings. Meals and lodging are included. Register through the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. This workshop is offered at the reduced educator rate of $50.

Salamanders and Storms: Climate Change in the Smokies
February 19-21, 2016 at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

Every year we learn more about how climate change is impacting the Smokies and the Southern Appalachian Mountains. We bring in area experts to discuss this complex issue and will showcase several hands-on activities you can use in the classroom. Meals and lodging included. Register through the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. The workshop is offered at the reduced educator rate of $50.

Spring in the Mountains
April 29 - May 1, 2016 at Purchase Knob, near Maggie Valley, NC

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world-renowned for its diversity of wildflowers and salamanders. Explore the northern Hardwood forest and stream-side habitats for salamanders and the blooms of spring. Register with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. This workshop costs $85 and includes lodging, some meals and transportation to and from Raleigh, NC.


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?