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Fernbank Science Center

Fernbank Science Center

Advanced Studies at Fernbank Science Center

Advanced Studies at Fernbank Science Center is a unique experience that offers hands-on investigations into a variety of specialized areas of science. Students will have the opportunity to study with expert instructors, working in well-equipped laboratories or traveling to the field. Scroll down for course desciptions.

The courses are provided tuition-free to any high school student in the DeKalb County School District in grades 10-12. The courses are available to students outside of the DeKalb County School District on a space-available, fee basis. Contact the science center for more information 678-874-7102.

How to Apply

Students must submit an application obtained from their school counselor or download an application here. To be considered, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, submit a teacher recommendation form completed by a science teacher at their school and provide a brief statement explaining why he or she wishes to enroll in the course.

Please Note:

Buses are not available for this program, students must provide their own transportation to the science center.

The center's policy requires students to have good attendance. Students may be dropped from a course after three unexcused absences. 

Former Advanced Studies student, Drew Schwartz, explains why the program was so important to his high school career.

Course Descriptions

Fall 2020

The Science of Food


This is a multi-disciplinary course designed to introduce students to the field of food science. The course content covers many aspects of food production from farm to table. These include agricultural practices, processing, food safety, nutrition, new product development, packaging and sensory evaluation. Students will develop technical skills in microbiology, chemistry and physical science through many lab activities. Additionally, the class will visit regional food production and research facilities.
Instructor: Ms. Stacy Byrd
Day/Time: Tues and Thurs 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.; one Saturday field trip
Prerequisite: Biology
Credit: 1 Carnegie Unit

Ecosystems Alive


In this course ecosytems will be studied in the field. A variety of ecosystems around the Atlanta area will be explored. Students will use a variety of scientific tools to explore the ecology of animals, plants, wetlands, rivers, forests and more! If you have an interest in a career in the natural sciences, then this course is an excellent introduction into understanding how and why scientists study ecosystems.
Instructor: Mr. Christopher Showalter
Day/TIme: Monday and/or Thursday 3-5:30 PM, with one Saturday field trip
Prerequisite: Biology
Credit: 1 Carnegie Unit


Examine the tools and scientific techniques used to solve crimes. This class will have a primary focus on the chemical aspect of forensics. Techniques include DNA, blood splatter, arson and explosive analysis. Field trips include visits to the GBI and Medical Examiners' Office similar to those seen on CSI.
Instructor: Mr. Adrian Elliott
Day/Time: TBA Field trips may be scheduled during school hours.
Prerequisite: Chemistry.
Credit: 1 Carnegie Unit

The following course requires that you attend both semesters (Register in Fall)



A two-semester course in calculus-based physics for prospective science and engineering majors. Our course emphasizes experimental work and problem solving, and can give successful students a year of college credit.
Instructor: Mr. Michael Dowling
Day/Time: Mon and Thurs 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Prerequisites: Calculus (concurrently), Physics (recommended)
Credit: 1.0 Carnegie Unit

Spring 2021

Animal Science


This course is designed for students who have an interest in animals, particularly domesticated and companion animal species. The course explores topics in anatomy and physiology, growth and development, behavior, nutrition, health and breeding. the course is ideal for students who are interested in a career in veterinary medicine or animal care and management. There are several field trips planned to animal care facilities
Instructor: Ms. Stacy Byrd
Day/Time: Tues and Thurs 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.; one Saturday field trip.
Prerequisite: Biology.
Credit: 1 Carnegie Unit