By Ron Sparkman| @UpportunityU
The Fernbank Science Center, located in Atlanta, GA, is a fantastic local gem. With possibly the best location I’ve ever seen in travels (it’s quite literally across the street from the elementary school with which it shares a name), the museum is small, but packed with fun stuff for kids of all ages. Oh, and it’s free!
The setup is simple. I walked in and was warmly greeted with a smile and “Hello!”…and a giant T-Rex head. The museum is expertly set up so that you can see everything in a single lap. You’ll see well-made recreations of animals of days past and present before you enter the back of the museum, the Space Station.
The Space Station is the most spacious area that I noticed, taking up the entire back area, in combination with the planetarium. One of the exhibits even shows how we originally shot a monkey into space. Panels are set up explaining the planets of our solar system and beyond; some even questioning if we are alone or not in the universe. The centerpiece of the room is the Apollo 6 Spacecraft Command Module, well preserved and a total eye catcher. At the end of the room is a collection of meteorites and what looked like a separate viewing center from the Planetarium. It was closed so I wasn’t able to tell. I was surprised to find how quiet the museum was until I passed by the Planetarium right as the show was letting out. Ah…so THAT’S where everybody was.
Far away my favorite part of the museum is what you see here.. A full roadmap for astronauts of any age to follow to enter in the science industry. From life science to astronomy (!!!), everything you need to know to follow your dreams is right here on this page. From grade school to college, and even what you can expect to do with your degree once you’ve graduated. I’ve had this as the background on my wall since I read it. It’s always incredible to walk into a new museum and find something that inspires. This definitely did that. The wall also had a poster “Superstars of Science” showing men and women of different races who’ve succeeded in the industry. Again, an inspiring message to children that you can excel in the sciences with passion and dedication no matter you background. All we must do is believe in ourselves and work hard.
All around I love this museum, I was in and out in about an hour and it was great way to spend some time after lunch. It’s tucked away with little traffic as long as you’re not there around school times. Make sure to visit them on social media: Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget that free museums are funded by those that enjoy them most, so don’t forget to donate a few dollar to keep science literacy alive while you’re there! 😀