Monday, January 12, 2009

World-Class Museum Opens in Cartersville

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tellus: Northwest Georgia Science Museum opened its doors to the public Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. The 120,000 square foot museum features four incredible galleries that include gems, dinosaurs, space capsules, minerals and a special kid's interactive area.

"After working on this project for so many years, it is exciting having a museum full of people enjoying the exhibits," said Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria.

Tellus' four galleries - Weinman Mineral Gallery, Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion and Collins Family My Big Backyard - feature exhibits and activities that cannot be found under one roof anywhere else in the country.

An 82-foot-long Apatosaurus looms over visitors in the Great Hall. The replica Wright Brothers' Flyer dominates the Science in Motion Gallery. A giant tree reaches to the ceiling in Collins Family My Big Backyard, inviting children of all ages inside to learn about weather.

Tellus is an expansion of the Weinman Mineral Museum, which received hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Georgia in its 24 years of existence. School children on field trips made up a significant portion of the visitation and Tellus will continue that tradition. More than 15,000 students are already signed up to visit the museum on field trips during the first four months Tellus is open.

"Research has shown having students do experiential, hands-on activities helps to broaden their experience base. A visit to Tellus and participation in one of our programs helps them associate all of the science vocabulary and concepts they are learning," Tellus Director of Education Cantey Smith said.

The buzz about Tellus has grown from a whisper to a roar over the last few months. The museum's E-newsletter membership has increased an average of 300 people a month for the last six months to more than 4,000 people. The grand opening gala, held on Jan. 10, sold out within three weeks of tickets going on sale. Tellus expects to draw more than 150,000 visitors in its first year of operation.

"The public's outpouring of support has been phenomenal," said Joe Schulman, director of marketing at Tellus. "As excited as we are to open, it's obvious the public couldn't wait either."

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