Archive for June, 2012

Fernbank Science Center celebrates its last day of forest access TOMORROW (Saturday)

June 29, 2012 2 comments

I just got word from Fernbank Science Center that they’re having a celebration tomorrow (Saturday, June 30), that being the last day that visitors can access Fernbank Forest via the science center. (Without getting into too much background, effective July 1 the forest is becoming a privately held entity that will be separate from the science center and likely will charge an admission fee.)

Free planetarium shows and other activities are planned from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission, as always, is free.


Categories: Enrichment

The Dinoff School: A private school exclusively for gifted children

June 26, 2012 Leave a comment

I just learned that metro Atlanta has a private school just for gifted students. It’s called The Dinoff School, and it’s in Griffin, Ga., about an hour’s drive south of downtown Atlanta.

This K-12 school first opened to students in fall 2010. Every student has been identified as gifted; every faculty member holds gifted certification.

The Dinoff School is now accepting applications for the 2012-13 school year. Tuition is $7,000, which compares very favorably against some of the elite private academies around town.

UPDATE: The Dinoff School is no longer in operation.

Categories: In the schools

Learn the science behind fireworks at Tellus Museum this Friday

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Here’s something to bring a little science to your Independence Day celebration: This Friday at 7 p.m., Tellus Museum in Cartersville will host a lecture about the chemistry of fireworks. The lecture will be presented by Bob Gossman, who is a senior program manager for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and a former high-school chemistry and physics teacher. The lecture is included in the cost of admission to the museum. The galleries will be open until 9 p.m.

Categories: Enrichment

View the Sun, Mercury and the Moon this Thursday at GPC Observatory

June 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Parents of astronomy enthusiasts, take note: I just received word from the SPACE Club at Georgia Perimeter College that they’ll be hosting a special open house in the observatory on the Dunwoody Campus this Thursday evening. Here is the information as I received it from observatory supervisor David Penly:

SPACE Club invites you to the Dunwoody Observatory this Thursday, June 21, 7:30 to 10:00 pm to celebrate the summer solstice (a day late) and take a look at the Moon and the planet Mercury, which will be in conjunction that evening.

We’ll set up our telescopes before sunset to take a look at the Sun, which has been surprisingly active lately.  We can also see Mercury and the Moon in the daytime sky with our telescopes.  Later, as the sky gets darker we may be able to spot Mercury with our naked eyes.  Since it is always close to the Sun and never up when the sky is dark, it is hard to spot Mercury in the sky, though it is a fairly bright object.  On Thursday however, the proximity of the Moon will help us locate it.

After sunset at 8:51 pm we can also take a look at Saturn and Mars – a regular parade of solar system objects.  So stop by after classes or work and help us celebrate the balmy evenings of summer.  Refreshments will be served.  As always, viewing will be contingent on open skies, but good conversation will not:  bar pouring rain, the observatory will be open.

Categories: Enrichment

Tellus Museum turns “leap second” into a fun contest

June 18, 2012 Leave a comment

From the creative minds at Tellus Museum in Cartersville:

Here’s a chance to be director
of Tellus Science Museum…for a second!

There will be an extra “tick” to the clock on June 30 as scientists add a leap second, and Tellus Science Museum is celebrating with a special contest for kids. One lucky child will get to be “Director for a Second,” giving our hardworking executive director a well-earned vacation.

Leap seconds are introduced periodically to keep up with Earth’s slowing down as it spins around its axis. A tiny effect, only 2 milliseconds have been added to the day in the last 188 years. Since the building of the great pyramid of Giza, 4500 years ago, the day has only grown 1/14 of a second longer. 

On Friday, June 29 at noon, Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria will take a one second vacation. The winning child will win a free entry into the museum for their family, a planetarium show, a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum, and a special gift bag.

 The contest runs through Thursday, June 21, and is open to children under 14. Entries can be e-mailed to and must contain the child’s name, the parent’s name, phone number and e-mail address, along with what the child will do with their extra second.

Categories: Enrichment

Hall County Schools open their IB schools to non-residents

June 5, 2012 Leave a comment

If you’d like to give your child the chance to study the International Baccalaureate curriculum, but don’t have access to an IB school, Hall County has announced it is taking applications from rising high-school juniors who live outside the county for its three IB high-schools: Johnson High School, North Hall High School, and West Hall High School.

The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous, challenging curriculum. Completion of the IB Diploma can translate into college course credits at many major colleges and universities.

Students from anywhere are welcome to apply, but all out-of-county students must pay tuition of $1,500 for the year, plus the cost of IB exams. Also, parents must provide transportation to and from the school.

Limited spaces are available. According to Sally Krisel, the director of innovative and advanced programs for the county, if a school receives more applicants than it has open seats, it will first review all the applications and select the students who are most highly qualified. If there are more equally qualified applicants than available slots, the spaces will be filled by lottery.

Application deadline is July 7, 2012. Applications are posted on the web sites of each of the schools.

For more information, read the announcement on the Hall County Schools web site, or contact Sally Krisel at sally-dot-krisel-at-hallco-dot-org (address deconstructed to help prevent spam).

Categories: In the schools