Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is a 200-acre facility that is rapidly becoming known in scientific and educational circles for providing the rare opportunity for students to get hands-on science education that is both fun and rewarding.
Tucked into a natural depression in Pisgah National Forest, PARI is located about 30 miles southwest of Asheville at the site of a former NASA satellite-tracking station. The site includes two massive 85-foot radio telescopes, among many other telescopes and scientific instruments.
“We offer educational opportunities for students from kindergarten through post-graduate researchers,” explains Don Cline, PARI’s founder and president. “When you add the programs we have for adults, we cover the spectrum from ‘K to gray.’ What makes PARI special is that we take students out of the classroom and let them use their imagination. Students who might not get excited about science by reading a textbook see science come alive at PARI. They learn by doing—and are eager to do more.”
PARI is open for docent-led public tours every Wednesday at 2 p.m., and offers Evening at PARI programs the third Friday of each month. Evening at PARI provides a tour, scientific presentation and observations using PARI telescopes. Both the tours and Evening at PARI programs require reservations: 877-6348. For more info: www.pari.edu or 862-5554.