Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.


In the 19th century, young Emily Harrison named one of her favorite places in the woodlands of Atlanta “Fernbank,” which was a creek bank covered with ferns. Harrison fought to protect the 65 acres of forest from city expansion and in 1939, Harrison and Dr. Woolford Baker established Fernbank as a non-profit “school of the wood” intended for nature study.

Today, Fernbank Museum fosters Emily Harrison’s passion for the environment, science and human nature through indoor and outdoor experiences perfect for student groups.

“Groups can step outside to experience an oasis in the middle of the city — Fernbank Forest — and explore over two miles of walking trails through a 65-acre-old growth forest and walk among 300-year-old trees,” said JaQuan Jackson, group marketing manager at Fernbank.

The core of a group’s visit is a self-guided tour, which includes access to the museum, Fernbank Forest and other outdoor adventures.

In addition to the self-guided tour, student programs are available for groups and are taught using visuals, live specimens, discussions and artifacts.

“A school program is a great way to engage students and reinforce science topics,” Jackson said. “Auditorium programs are presented in an auditorium-style to accommodate a larger audience.”

Credit: Courtesy of Fernbank

Some of these student programs include Living Wild, Explosive Earth, Weather Wonder and Reflections of Culture.

Experience live demonstrations of how clouds form in Weather Wonder. Explore how different cultures express social messages through clothing, jewelry and body modification. See a live animal from the Living Wild collection.

“We also offer Investigation programs which are inquiry-based and allow students to have a more interactive experience through experiments and activities,” Jackson said.

Make sure to book a Fernbank Forest tour and gain an understanding of the Piedmont forest ecosystem. Also, don’t miss the Giant Screen 3D Theater where students will watch science-based documentaries all on the 4-story screen. Under normal operations, Fernbank has no limitation on student group sizes. Check the Fernbank website or call to find updates on capacity availability.

For more information call 404-929-6300 or go to fernbankmuseum.org.

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