Smokies to Schoolyards Connection is an initiative of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont (GSMIT), focused on developing and sustaining GSMIT’s opportunities for inquiry-based learning within Great Smoky Mountains National Park and communities in east Tennessee. We are achieving this by:

Creating Resources for Educators

We strive to make student learning more personal, local and relevant throughout the school year.

Providing Professional Development

We offer resource training and mentorship in inquiry-based learning for local schools.

Generating Sustainable Financial Support

We partner with community organizations, businesses, and broader support systems.

Cultivating a Network of Advocates

We strive to develop a network of advocates to assist with our education-based community enrichment.

Hands-on, immersive education experiences are proven to boost test scores, improve behavior, increase interest and engagement in the learning process, and support active and healthy lifestyles. We believe this methodology can be used daily in the classrooms of east Tennessee. Smokies to Schoolyards Connection is an initative rooted in GSMIT’s mission of “connecting people and nature”.

Percentage of student assessment scores increased using the Environment as an Integrating Context (a framework for collaborative, student-centered, hands-on, and engaged learning) compared to peers in traditional programs.

Math Assessment Scores Increased 65%
Science Assessment Scores Increased 67%
Language Arts Assessments Increased 80%
Attendance and Discipline Assessment Scores Increased 84%