Museum Musings

Volunteer of the Month: March

Earl-Johnson.jpgWe are pleased to honor Earl Johnson as our March Volunteer of the Month.

Earl Johnson is a records manager for a company called Colonial Pipeline, and he paints, draws and sculpts in his spare time. He has been part of the Polaris volunteer guild at Fernbank Museum since 2011.

His favorite part of being at Fernbank is seeing kids’ expressions and the way their faces light up when they first see the Giganotosaurus in the Great Hall. He also enjoys meeting international visitors.

Earl said, “I travel a lot with business and always check to see if different cities have natural history museums; I’ve been to museums in many cities and this one is by far the best.”
If you are interested in giving your time to the Museum, please contact us at or 404.929.6360.

Written by Fernbank Museum at 12:49

Fernbank Hosts “VIK”

On Saturday, February 2, 2013, Fernbank Museum hosted a "VIK" – a very important kid, Kenny Stewart. Kenny, age 12, visited the Museum along with his mom, Anna, and brother, Alex, age 7, as part of the Make A Wish Foundation. Everyone was excited to welcome Kenny to Fernbank. In fact, Kenny's visit began with a special welcome card delivered by the Museum's mascot, Giggy A. Dinosaur.


Next, Kenny and his family began touring the Museum, starting with A Walk Through Time in Georgia and then to Fernbank NatureQuest. Our "VIK" also was given a behind-the-scenes tour of Fernbank's live animal collection and a private animal encounter with educator Charlee G.


Following the animal encounter, education VP Christine B. gave the group a tour of collections – an area of the Museum that houses a number of artifacts which belong to the Museum, but aren't on display to the public.


Kenny's visit concluded with a trip to Alaska through the powerful imagery of Fernbank's IMAX® Theatre.


We really enjoyed getting to meet Kenny and his family. It was not only a great day for Kenny, but also for everyone at Fernbank. We were delighted to share the Museum with them in honor of Kenny's Wish Day. Thank you, Kenny, for making Fernbank Museum part of your Make A Wish-Georgia experience!

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing

Written by Fernbank Museum at 11:13

Fernbank Museum’s Volunteer of the Month

Fernbank Museum is grateful for the support of its 250 strong Polaris volunteer guild. Please join us as we highlight one of those special volunteers each month! Beginning this month is Jack Bates.

If you are interested in giving your time to the Museum, please contact us at or 404.929.6360.

We are pleased to honor Jack Bates as our February Volunteer of the Month.Picture 034

Jack Bates was born in northern Maine and moved to Georgia about 40 years ago. He formerly taught psychology at the University of South Carolina and at Perimeter College, and since retiring spends most of his spare time volunteering. He has been volunteering at Fernbank Museum since 2009. His favorite thing about being at Fernbank is seeing and chatting with people, especially the young people. Jack also volunteers at AID Atlanta, Jerusalem House, is a Stephen Minister, teaches Sunday school and works with Hospice. He says, “volunteering keeps me going and keeps me busy.”

Thank you for all you do, Jack!  We love seeing your face every Friday.

Written by Fernbank Museum at 12:51

COMING SOON: 2013 Special Programming

After a year-long celebration of Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s 20th anniversary that included several family celebrations, major special exhibitions and the launch of a new mobile Museum App, visitors have more exciting programs to anticipate in 2013.

Please note: this list is not final and all dates and events listed below are subject to change.

Flight of the Butterflies
A NEW giant screen adventure
Opens January 4

Emperor & Empress Day
Family fun inspired by Genghis Khan
January 12

Genghis Khan
Special exhibition
Closes January 21

Butterfly Bash
Celebrating the new film Flight of the Butterflies
February 9

Extreme Mammals
New special exhibition
March 2

Extreme Mammals Opening Day Celebration
A day of family fun celebrating Fernbank's new special exhibition
March 2

Dinosaur Egg Hunt
Fernbank’s annual spring event for families
March 30

Lost Oasis 2013: Wild Safari
Annual fundraising event hosted by Fernbank’s Artemis Guild
June 8

Superhero Day
Because super dads (and moms) deserve a SUPER day
June 16

Reptile Day
One of Fernbank’s longest-running and most popular events
July 20

Dinosaur Birthday Bash
Join a prehistoric party celebrating Giants of the Mesozoic
August 24

Marco Polo
A NEW special exhibition
Opens September 2013

Winter Wonderland
Featuring a festive holiday-inspired display and other special activities
Opens November 2013

More programs to be announced including additional films in the IMAX® Theatre, Fernbank’s Summer Camp, Homeschool Days, an evening for educators, additional family events and more.

Be sure to sign up for Fernbank’s e-newsletters, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates and announcements!

Written by Fernbank Museum at 09:27

It's the "REEL" Deal

Not all IMAX® Theatres are created equal.

IMAX® Theaters can be found throughout Georgia, but Fernbank Museum’s IMAX® is not like the rest! So, what is it that sets us apart?

Fernbank Museum houses the only genuine IMAX® Theater in the city of Atlanta. Creating the IMAX® experience is about much more than film format. The entire theatre, including the screen and seating, are designed specifically for showing IMAX® movies. Below are some fun facts about Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre.Generic IMAX by Boris.jpg

The Experience

  • Our films are incredibly realistic. Viewers are treated to a uniquely immersive experience, in which they are able to explore new places, creatures and cultures up-close.
  • Two major considerations when choosing a new IMAX® film are its storyline, and whether or not the film is relevant to Fernbank Museum’s mission. Fernbank often tries to choose films with storylines that mirror its special exhibitions.

The Screen & Sound

  • The screen in our IMAX® Theater is 55 ft tall and 72 ft wide. That means that it’s as tall as a five story building, with a width comparable to the length of a tennis court.
  • The screen has a unique concave shape, which helps to create a feeling of immersion when watching the film.
  • Fernbank’s IMAX® Theatre features state-of-the art surround sound. Viewers are treated to a film that tantalizes not only the eyes, but the ears as well.

The Film

  • Fernbank's Theatre continues to show movies shot in film, rather than digital format.
  • Films are shot on 70 mm film, with a frame size of 15/70. To those that aren’t up on  film jargon, this basically means that the film is bigger and allows for a much higher resolution than standard film, which is generally 35 mm with a frame size of 5/70.
  • Films are held on reels that weigh around 200 lbs. In order to move these reels, the IMAX® staff uses a small fork lift!
  • The Projector
  • IMAX® film requires a special projector that weighs over two tons and occupies the majority of the space in our projector room.

Be sure to check out our Expereince IMAX® page for a list of currently showing films and catch a flick on the biggest screen in town!

Did you know?
You can see the IMAX® projector room for yourself!

Located on the third floor of the Museum, across from Fernbank NatureQuest, there is a large window that allows guests to take a peek into the projector room. However, IMAX® staff only opens the window’s curtain for the 15 minute period between film showings. So, be quick, or you’ll miss your chance!

—Sam Marks, Communications and Marketing Intern


Written by Fernbank Museum at 13:54
Welcome to the official blog of Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!