Monday, September 14, 2009

Tellus Science Museum joins Smithsonian Affiliate Program

/PRNewswire/ -- Tellus: Northwest Georgia Science Museum joins a prestigious collection of museums as a member of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program. Georgia's newest world-class science museum will now have greater access to the collections and educational resources of the 47 museums, libraries, and research centers in the Smithsonian network.

"We are proud to be a member of the program," said Jose Santamaria, executive director of Tellus. "We look forward to working with the Smithsonian to expand the museum-going experience for our visitors."

Established in 1996, the Smithsonian Affiliations Program has built partnerships with 165 museums, educational and cultural organizations in 40 states, Panama and Puerto Rico. The program allows Affiliates to obtain long-term loans of art, artifacts, and books from any of the Smithsonian's collections and fosters resource sharing, educational initiatives, scholarly exchange and research efforts. Affiliate organizations are selected for their high quality of exhibitions, scholarship, and museum educational programs.

Tellus features one of only two digital planetariums in Georgia, and four galleries: Weinman Mineral Gallery; Fossil Gallery; Science in Motion, a journey through the development of motorized transportation; and Collins Family Big Backyard, a hands-on activity gallery for children. The museum spans 120,000 square feet.

"Joining the Smithsonian Affiliations Program is validation that Tellus is a world-class museum," Santamaria said. "Becoming an affiliate of the Smithsonian involves a rigorous process for qualification as they only accept museums who have the highest standards and who are capable of caring for projects as they would."

Tellus opened in January and was built on the site of the Weinman Mineral Museum. The Weinman was 9,000 square feet, and today it would nearly fit inside any of the new museum's galleries. Tellus is projected to pass 150,000 visitors before the end of the year.

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