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Tremont Institute receives grant for solar eclipse education program

tremont institute
Tremont Institute in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Image by Jeaneane Payne.


TOWNSEND, TN — Tremont Institute has received a $7,000 grant from the First Tennessee Foundation. The grant will be used to give underserved high school students and opportunity to participate in a Solar Eclipse Education Program.

Tremont Institute will provide the students with the chance to experience the solar eclipse while living and learning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Students will also have the ability to use their new knowledge to educate and serve park visitors from around the country during the eclipse. This program will provide students with a unique academic opportunity prior to applying for college; therefore, Tremont Institute and First Tennessee Foundation may shape the future academic and career outcomes of youth from local, underserved communities.

In addition to Tremont Institute, contributors to this project include the National Park Service at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NASA, University of Tennessee, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The National Park Service, in conjunction with NASA, will provide outreach for the event. University of Tennessee is providing $5,000 of work to assess the outcomes of the project. Meanwhile, the Corporation for National and Community Service will contribute approximately $3,600 for additional outreach, curriculum development, and administration using an AmeriCorps VISTA grant received by Tremont Institute.

“This August, the Smokies will experience a total solar eclipse, a once-in-a–lifetime opportunity. We are thankful for the generosity of the First Tennessee Foundation whose support will provide scholarships for local underserved high school students to attend a special educational solar eclipse program at Tremont Institute. In addition to learning about the eclipse and conservation issues, the students will also receive leadership training and serve as park docents during public eclipse events in the national park. Through the support of our partners, Tremont Institute is inspiring and educating future generations of leaders, scientists, and stewards,” said Jennifer Jones, PhD, and Tremont Institute President and CEO.

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont has provided hands-on education through local, personal, and relevant programs within the 500,000-acre classroom of Great Smoky Mountains National Park since 1969. For many students, it is their first opportunity to learn outdoors, participate in hands-on science, and explore a national park. With a mission of “connecting people and nature”, Tremont Institute is able to develop a personal connection between participants and nature and increase interest in science learning. They accomplish this through direct interaction with participants on their campus and the training of teachers within the community. In recent years, Tremont Institute has made it a strategic priority to provide these experiences for underserved communities in order to make meaningful education for all people.

Published May 23, 2017

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