Since 1987 the Museum's Educator of Excellence Institutes have provided exceptional educators with staff development opportunities that transform the way they view and teach natural sciences. Educators from across North Carolina have been inspired by their experiences in outstanding natural areas such as Belize , Ecuador , and Yellowstone National Park . These workshops are subsidized by the Educators of Excellence Fund , which enables selected educators to experience the natural world firsthand.
This program changed my life and teaching direction.
3rd grade teacher, McDowell County
I wish all educators could experience this Institute – it would make all our schools a better place to teach and learn.
8th grade teacher, Burke County
Learn more about the Educators of Excellence Fund  and contribute to the program!
Application deadline Monday, March 9, 2015
Yellowstone National Park Institute
Dates: June 14-22, 2015 with an orientation at the Museum on Saturday, April 18, and an evaluation meeting at the Museum on Saturday, November 7, 2015.
Location: Yellowstone National Park, WY and MT
Activity Level: Moderate to rigorous, including walking/hiking at high elevations
Cost: $950 (includes round-trip air travel between Raleigh and Bozeman, MT, all ground transportation, instruction, and lodging)
Participating educators will study and experience the wonders of the world’s first national park. Join us from sunrise to sunset as we observe the incredible wildlife including bears, bison, wolves and elk. Learn about the area’s unique geothermal features and enjoy the magnificent scenery as we hike trails throughout the park. The daily program will include field experiences, opportunities to meet with park staff and local experts to discuss resource management issues, and activities to help bring these experiences into the classroom. Discover strategies for exploring the connections between Yellowstone and North Carolina (wolf and elk reintroduction, fire ecology, resource management issues in the parks, and much more).
Tropical Ecology Institute
Dates: July 21-29, 2015, with an orientation meeting at the Museum on Saturday, May 2 and an evaluation meeting at the Museum on Saturday, November 7, 2015.
Location: Belize, Central America and Raleigh, NC
Activity Level: Moderate to rigorous, including walking/hiking in tropical (high heat/humidity) settings, canoeing and snorkeling
Cost: $1,300 (includes supplies, round-trip air travel between Raleigh and Belize, all ground transportation, instruction, lodging and meals)
Participants will experience several tropical habitats, including coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and rain forests. The daily program will include practical field experiences, basic biological information, and easily duplicated techniques for teaching natural sciences. This program is designed to give educators a direct experience with environments and concepts that are part of the classroom curriculum. Participants will spend time at a Belizean school interacting with teachers and students.