Grandfather Mountain to Host Free Environmental Educator Workshops | Local News

LINVILLE — Grandfather Mountain invites educators to take advantage of its classroom in the clouds.

In 2022, the nonprofit nature park will once again offer a series of environmental educator certification programs. These courses are designed specifically for educators – not the general public – and most are free.

“This is an opportunity to learn and have fun, while earning your environmental educator certification in North Carolina,” said John Caveny, director of education for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the organization nonprofit that owns and operates the park.

Grandpa offers credit for Criteria I, II, and III programs, and classes include free park admission for attendees.

Workshops will take place at Grandfather Mountain and may include walking. Participants are therefore encouraged to bring appropriate footwear and be prepared for inclement weather. Participants are also requested to bring their own lunch, although there is a restaurant on site.

The courses are as follows:

June 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration fee: $15 (covers course materials)

The Outdoor Wonders and Learning (OWL) Project, presented by the NC Arboretum and led by OWL Coordinator Michelle Pearce, is a curriculum that helps formal and non-formal K-5 educators provide learning experiences. outdoor multidisciplinary learning.

Educators gain skills and resources to facilitate engaging, inquiry-based lessons that meet NC’s essential standards and develop a comfort with science and nature.

NC Environmental Education (NC EE) Certification Credit: Criteria I, 6 hours (10 hours possible with homework option), and CEU credit are available.

July 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Tanya Poole, outreach education specialist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, WILD: Bears will focus on black bears in North Carolina.

A majority of the workshop will be devoted to learning about life history and current research on black bears, as well as activities that can be incorporated into educators’ programs. Participants will also learn about the BearWise program and the Urban/Suburban Bear study taking place in Asheville.

NC EE certification credit: Criteria II or III and CEU credit are available.

August 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organized by Poole, this workshop will teach participants about the life history and management of elk, as well as how to incorporate elk activities into the NC curriculum.

Attendees will also get to meet the bull elk that call Grandfather Mountain home and what it takes to keep them healthy and happy.

Educators will receive the WILD About Elk Activity Guide at the end of the workshop. NC EE Certification Credit: Criteria II or III and CEU credit are also available at the end of the workshop.

Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Cassie Petrilla, Education Specialist at Grandfather Mountain, BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning and Expertise Sharing) provides learning resources dedicated to improving the quality of outdoor science education for field instructors, leaders and teachers.

BEETLES learning sessions encourage educators to examine specific aspects of inquiry-based science pedagogy and inspire deeper reflection on the teaching and learning of individuals.

Join Petrilla at Grandfather Mountain to discuss two of the BEETLES professional learning sessions, “Making Observations” and “Promoting Discussion”, and explore how to help students develop observation skills by encouraging curiosity and wonder , as well as ways to fuel discussion about observable science ideas and the benefits of discussion-based practices.

NC EE certification credit: Criteria I, 6 hours and CEU credit are available.

Grandfather Mountain launched its Educator Workshop Series in 2018 to provide educators in western North Carolina with a nearby location to earn NC EE certification credit.

Such workshops were already held on site for Grandfather Mountain education staff, who must have NC EE certification. As a service to North Carolina educators, the park has opened the classes to all teachers in the state pursuing environmental education certification — free of charge, except for an occasional fee for the cost of materials.

The non-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and appreciate the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or click to to plan a trip.

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