Skip to main content

A FREE Professional Development Experience for 8th – 12th grade science teachers. 

Hands-on, real world, and STEM-based experiences will be emphasized – be prepared to get wet, sandy, and re-energized!

During this four day teacher institute, 8th -12th grade science teachers will explore and compare several unique coastal ecosystems through inquiry-based, hands-on activities, evaluating human impacts on these systems alongside scientists and expert environmental educators. Teachers will gain updated content knowledge and instructional resources designed to foster student learning of watershed science and stimulate awareness of actions that promote watershed stewardship. Content and activities are aligned with the NC Essential Standards for 8th Grade Science, Earth/Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science.

Participants will:

  • Actively participate in hands-on and STEM-based experiences in North Carolina’s coastal aquatic ecosystems.
  • Engage with a variety of outstanding environmental educators, researchers and scientists.
  • Gain knowledge about current watershed science, human impacts to coastal watersheds and strategies to protect watersheds.

Participants will receive:

  • A wealth of new ideas and instructional resources including curriculum-related materials.
  • An opportunity to network with colleagues in a relaxed professional development setting.
  • Excellent food and lodging at beautiful Trinity Center in Salter Path, NC.
  • CEU and Environmental Education Certification Credits.

Participants will be expected to:

  • Commit to the entire institute, August 9-12, 2021.
  • Incorporate learned skills and experiences into lesson plans and teaching practice.
  • Share their experiences and mentor other teachers in your school or system.
  • Participate in program evaluation.

Health and Safety Precautions:

All in-person program components will follow current University, state and federal health guidelines and apply a range of safety measures to mitigate health risks, including

  • Leading activities outdoors as much as possible
  • Requiring properly worn face coverings indoors, or when physical distancing is not possible outdoors
  • Physical distancing
  • Increasing sanitation efforts
  • If indoors, leaving doors and windows open to increase air exchange

Please note that in-person programs are subject to change, rescheduling or cancellation depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

To Apply:

The application window is closed.

Please note: There are a limited number of seats available for this Institute. All applicants will be notified of their acceptance status on or before June 18, 2021. If you are accepted, a $100 refundable deposit will be required to reserve your spot. Your spot will be forfeited if your deposit is not received in a timely manner. Your check will not be deposited and will be returned to you upon check-in at the institute on August 9, 2021. Cancellations made after July 23, 2021 will result in the forfeiture of the deposit; your check will be cashed and considered a tax-deductible donation to the UNC Institute for the Environment.

Program Contacts:

Megan Rodgers
At Water’s Edge Program Coordinator
(919) 966-7238

Sarah Yelton
Environmental Education & Citizen Science Program Manager
(919) 966-0895

The institute is presented by the UNC Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science, with funding provided by the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP).