"This is one of our biggest events of the year," said Joe Schulman, marketing director for Tellus Science Museum. "We will have more than 30 different characters from science and science fiction -- so some famous faces as well as some fictional ones. We'll have characters from 'Doctor Who' and 'Star Wars.' We'll have the Wright brothers and Albert Einstein. We'll have Amelia Earhart and Mary Anning. So [we will have] a lot of characters.
"We've [also] got some other things going on. All kids will receive an autograph book so they can get autographs from everybody here. We're going to have a costume contest for kids. They can come as their favorite science or science fiction character. And then we'll also have a parade march of all the characters at 7, 8 and 9 p.m.," he said, adding there also will be a complimentary planetarium show.
Along with the fourth-annual event introducing patrons to many notable characters, Tellus Education Director Cantey Smith believes the offering helps them realize how ingrained science is in their day-to-day lives.
"It's such a wonderful opportunity to interact with the kids, especially," Smith said. "But the adults enjoy it as well. My character, my scientist, is Mary Anning who is probably the most famous paleontologist you have never heard of. But she was really key in developing some of those early paleontology discoveries.
"... The plesiosaurus that we have in The Fossil Gallery -- that's the big long one that looks like the Loch Ness Monster -- she actually found one of the first almost complete skeleton of that in England. And that was in the early 1800s. So she's really quite amazing. I love being able to share [her story] with kids, just to show there have always been strong women in science even though we may not have been recognized because of the culture at the time."
Encompassing 120,000 square feet at 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville, Tellus is comprised of four main galleries -- The Weinman Mineral Gallery, The Fossil Gallery, Science In Motion and The Collins Family My Big Backyard -- a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory. A Smithsonian affiliate, Tellus has attracted about 700,000 visitors since opening in January 2009.
"Basically we hope that the kids learn something from some of the characters -- real or fictional -- [and] that they learn something about science and then also have fun and get excited about science," Schulman said. "And for the adults, we hope that they have such a good time that this reminds them why science is so important and that you can have fun in an environment like this."
Tickets for the event, which are $10 for members and $20 for non-members, can be purchased by calling 770-606-5700, Ext. 431, through Friday, at the front desk leading up to the event or at the door on Saturday.
For more information about the museum and its offerings, visit www.tellusmuseum.org.