7 Reasons to Visit Fernbank Science Center
For over 50 years, people have been visiting The Fernbank Science Center (not to be confused with the Fernbank Museum of Natural History). Since it is part of DeKalb County Schools, students in that district have access to lessons and experiences through the center. Whether you’re into science or just want to see some really cool stuff, check out seven of our favorite reasons to visit the FSC.
Not only is general admission free but parking is too. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation.
Visitors of all ages love the center’s recently remodeled planetarium, one of the largest in the U.S. at 70-feet in diameter. At this theater in the round, spectators are treated to stargazing shows. The hallmark of the planetarium is the Zeiss Mark V projector which works in conjunction with the SPITZ SciDome 4K Laser projection system to pull off an amazing experience. There is a fee to see the Planetarium show. Check the center’s calendar for their offering of planetarium shows. During the summer, shows are Monday through Saturday.
3. Live Animals
Snakes, frogs, spiders, oh my! The Fernbank Science Center boasts an impressive collection of live animals. But don’t worry, they are all behind glass. Your insect and reptile loving children will be in heaven, especially in the section with the honey bees (which are actively working on a hive).
A true highlight of the center is the actual Apollo 6 Command Module, which was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in 1968. It was the last unmanned flight of Project Apollo. Children and adults are mesmerized by this historical Saturn V.
The Dr. Ralph L. Buice, Jr. Observatory has a 0.9 meter (36-inch) Cassegrain reflector under a 10 meter (30 ft.) dome. That’s a lot of technical science lingo, but it all boils down to a really big telescope. In fact, it’s the largest telescope in the southeastern United States, making for incredible star gazing. The observatory is open on clear Thursday and Friday evenings for free public observations with an astronomer. They’re on the late side for young kids (after 9:00pm) but if yours can stay up, the spectacular views are worth it. Call ahead to check on the weather conditions at the Center.
A win-win for parents and kids. For a mere $20 per kid, young science enthusiasts get to play and do hands-on STEM activities for three hours on a Friday night while parents get to have a night out. Plus, the evenings are led by Fernbank scientists as well as high school and college science students. Kids love these events, especially since the topics are things like “LEGO Windstorm Robotics.”
7. Cool Events
Parents can take one look at the Fernbank Science Center’s calendar and see lots of events that are up their kids’ alley. Children flip for things like Snake Day, Robots Day and Astronomy Day. These events always have activities, crafts and hand-on experiences for the kids. And bringing us back to our “reason #1,” it’s all free.