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Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta
(3.9/5 based on 150+ reviews on the web)
The Fernbank Science Center is a museum, classroom, and woodland complex located in Atlanta. It is owned and operated by the DeKalb County School System, which announced in May 2012 it was considering closing the facility to cut its annual budget, then quickly shelved the plan after public outcry. The nearby Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a private non-profit organization that is separate from the Science Center.OverviewThe Fernbank Science Center opened in December 1967, and is an educational facility and an integral part of the DeKalb County School System. It provides programs for the science education of local students, pre-K-12. Both its planetarium and observatory are open for public shows on specific occasions.The mission of the Science Center is to provide and promote an understanding of science and technology and to communicate to its visitors the harmony and order of the natural world. Fernbank contains many materials for instruction, including dinosaur skeletons, rocks and minerals, a collection of tektites, an Aeronautics Education Laboratory and an electron microscope lab. The center also has an authentic Apollo spacecraft from the unmanned Apollo 6 Saturn V test flight, and is home to a planetarium with a 70ft-diameter projection dome.Jim Cherry Memorial PlanetariumThe Jim Cherry Memorial Planetarium is a 500-seat celestial theater in the round, equipped with a 70ft, a Mark V Zeiss star projector, and over 100 special effects projectors. The planetarium, which was built in the 1967's is the largest planetarium within the state of Georgia and one of the largest in the U.S. It was also the first planetarium to be owned and operated by a public school system in the United States of America.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I organized a group of 6 senior ladies to check out the new program "From Earth to the Universe." It included a video followed by a talk about the night sky and how to identify stars and constellation...  more »
  • This museum is a museum quite educational even though it has an approach that exploits to the fullest if you are visiting with children. I don't know if it is a place that would come back to visit as an adult without children. I quite liked the room that also has information concerning different cultures in the world and the video in IMAX on the planet.
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  • Visited this science center at 3pm on a Saturday. It is FREE which is great, but it is small and we were a few minutes too late to see the planetarium show. We walked through in about 30 minutes. Grea...  more »
Google
  • Fernbank Science Center has been the crown jewel of the DeKalb County Public School System for decades. A combination of museum, urban forest, local species zoo, science education, planetarium, telescope and interactive exhibits the Center not only educates DeKalb County students yet adults as well. Hiking the forest trails is a must as is the planetarium exhibit and telescope. Everyone in Atlanta should visit here at least once, the staff is knowledgeable and will make you feel welcome, everyone will wish to return.
  • We came here on a clear Friday night to the Observatory. Admission is free. We were curious about the telescope. Excellent experience. The staff was so helpful. This clear night enabled us to get a real taste for the the science of the sky. Amazing. A great service from the Science Center.
  • I am so disappointed. Today was my first time ever going here and I brought my 2 year old daughter because she wanted to see Sid the Science Kid their flyer said that he would be there from 10 to 12 I paid a $26 taxi ride and got there at exactly 1030 8 a.m. the Sid the Science Kid show was already over he was already gone and all and all the science experiments were already put up it wasn't even 11 o'clock yet what happened to 10 to 12 so then I go down to the planetarium and they don't let me in because I need a ticket so I go buy a ticket and when I go back downstairs the doors are wide open and nobody is even there taking tickets nobody else in there even had a ticket so I went and spent $7 on a ticket to watch the worst movie I have ever seen the movie wHich made no sense it was not very informational! Earth wild ride. ...terrible movie! So another $26 later I'm home and I'm highly upset. They shouldn't say 10 - 12 if they were gonna be packed and done by 10:45. Nearly $60 wasted! The museum itself is nice. A bunch of stuffed dead animals.and maybe 10 Live reptiles.
  • The science center is a really great place to go for a walk or picnic. The Atlanta Area Aquarium Association meets here every first Saturday of the month to talk about aquarium Fish.
  • Used to come here all of the time in elementary school to see shows at the planetarium. Great educational exhibits especially for young kids.