Butterfly Kingdom is constructing a world-class butterfly conservatory and natural science education center in Hardeeville, South Carolina conveniently located at the intersection of Interstate-95 and Highway 278, the gateway to Hilton Head Island. The 84,000 sq. ft. facility is scheduled to open in Spring 2003 and will encompass the largest Butterfly Conservatory in North America, as well as an extensive Insect Zoo, a Nocturnal Moth Exhibit, an Insect Discovery and Learning Center, a university-level research laboratory, a 400 seat 3D Giant Screen Theater, a gift shop, and a restaurant. Sounding the facility will be over 15 acres of beautifully landscaped natural gardens complete with interpretive walking trails, large water features, interactive learning and teaching areas, and an outdoor wetlands laboratory.
Housed within the facility will also be the INSTAR (Invertebrate, Science, Teaching and Research) Center, an educational non-profit corporation. INSTAR will oversee all of the on-site educational programming, distance learning, professional development opportunities, and conservation research at Butterfly Kingdom.
The mission of this unique natural science education center is to advance environmental education, scientific investigation, and the conservation of biodiversity utilizing invertebrates as the primary catalyst. In doing so, the INSTAR Center hopes to fill the unique and much needed role of promoting science literacy in the region through the development of strong outreach and facility-based education programming aimed at Georgia and South Carolina school children, educators, and the general public. Additionally, the organization will develop an active scientific research program devoted to the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. Utilizing the university level research facilities at Butterfly Kingdom, the program will focus on local, regional, and international invertebrate conservation issues and involve the dynamic interaction of INSTAR Center staff entomologists, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students, and visiting faculty members and researchers.
The INSTAR Center is currently developing an extensive compliment of public education and research programs and opportunities that will be fully implemented once the Center and its partner Butterfly Kingdom facility are completed in Spring 2003.
For further information, please see Golden Opportunities to Make a Difference.
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