Given out each year by the Environmental Educators of North Carolina, the award recognizes a program or institute that shines in environmental education. The award committee selected the center based on its hands-on lessons in science, technology, engineering and math.
“The staff at the (center) has worked hard over the years to develop a unique program, blending scientific research occurring in the park with the science content that teachers focus on in middle and high school grades,” said the center’s Education Coordinator Susan Sachs.
Located in Haywood County within the park, the center is part of a network of learning centers supporting science research and education in national parks. The center, sitting at 5,000 feet in elevation, includes laboratories, a 50-person classroom and housing for visiting scientists.