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Interactive life exhibit in Florida allows kids to learn about animals

Kids learn how a starfish eats, how a crab grows and how water currents influence the weather on land.
Alligator inside the exhibit resting on a rock
Posted at 6:14 PM, Jun 10, 2024

There is a new exhibit at the Orlando Science Center.

It's an interactive life exhibit, where the animals that live in the rainforest, ocean and the swamp teach kids about conservation and nature.

"What better way to explore the natural world than to be inundated in it — really immersed in this environment," said Shannon Zimmerman, the curator of conservation and welfare at the Orlando Science Center.

Students like sixth grader Matthew Hackett can plunge into the ocean exhibit.

"The ocean exhibit is wonderful and incredibly important ... They provide some of the thriving ecosystems," said Hackett.

They are surrounded by a living coral reef, where they learn how a starfish eats, how a crab grows and how water currents influence the weather on land.

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Then they explore a living, breathing rainforest, where birds soar above, as sloths and tamarins climb through the canopy. It's all to explain why it's important to protect the real rainforests.

"It produces some of the most oxygen in the world, so it's important for us too," said Hackett.

"That's what were looking for to try and make these connections, so people can take the message away of what these animals are encountering in the while and how they can help with they leave," said Zimmerman.

The alligators were kind of chill. It wouldn't be Florida without visiting the swamps, where gators and turtles help to explain how vital the wetlands are to filtering water for humans.

The hands-on exhibits and ecosystems are helping kids understand that all life is interconnected.