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Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta

(160+ reviews on the web)
Observatory
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
  • The dinosaur exhibition is grand. The newly completed walkway thru the forest is great and of course, there is I MAX movie opportunity.  more »
  • We love the Astrology show the dinosaurs and the bee hive. This is a smaller size more personable museum...  more »
  • I have been attending the shows at Fernbank for over 40 years and they never cease to amaze me. It has one of the best observatories I have had the pleasure of attending. I would highly recommend any ...  more »
Google
  • Drove all the way from Macon, GA. Arrived at 8:13pm for the observation at 9pm. Only to be told they will be no showing due to weather. There was no rain and little clouds. Ask of we can watch the show that just started and was told we couldn't, cause they didn't won't to disturb the astronomers. I'm very upset, and will not refer my family n friends. We drove an 1hr and 40 mins to do nothing. Staff not willing to assist, with the showing.
  • Amazing planetarium and home to one of the largest telescopes owned by a public school system. Musuem is definitely geared towards young guests, but it's great to see a place dedicated to science for kids to explore with hands-on exhibits.
  • I came with my daughter's 1st grade class today and while the students enjoyed themselves I was disappointed with the care and attentiveness of the staff. Upon arrival there was a bit of confusion as to what enterance we were suppose to use. So the coordinating teacher asked one of the staff for direction and her response was "You don't know where the planetarium is? You didn't see the signs? Just go down the ramp someone will be down there." I felt this was very insensitive and unprofessional. I did not feel welcomed at all. Once we arrived in the planetarium and the attendant went over the "house keeping rules" it concerned me that one of the rules was should need to be excused you are not allowed back in. As I stated I was with my daughter's 1st grade class and felt this was a bit extreme as some of the students still may be learning how control their bathroom breaks. Lastly after the show, all of the student were exiting the planetarium it became a little congested in the hallway as different schools and student were using the restrooms and exploring the exhibits. This made a few of my daughter's school students come to a stand still inside the planetarium. It was at this time the host approached myself and another parent asking us to leave the planetarium as she needs to prepare for the next show. I replied to her "well ma'am there's nowhere for us to go, the line is at a stand still." She rushed past us and into the hallway to observe. Seemingly irritated she came back in walked past us without a word and began to turn the lights off. This was by far the worst experience I have had at fernbank. I'm sure this is not the kind of exsposure that your facility wants to be known by as you have so much to offer our children's learning potential and growth. Please correct these actions so that my daughter's school and others can continue to enjoy coming to what is intended to be an exciting place to experience and see the wonders of the world!!
  • Still looks pretty much the same when I was in elementary school about 20 years ago but the planetarium is still just as exciting and fascinating as especially for my budding science enthusiastic daughters!
  • It's the only public access planetarium in the Dekalb area. Very informative and interesting displays.