ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Science Center began construction on a new exhibit Wednesday that is set to open next year.
The new nature and conservation exhibit, called “Life,” will give visitors a chance to explore three unique habitats through hands-on activities to give them a look at our ever-changing world. The exhibit is for both children and adults, featuring the ocean, swamp and rain forest.
“I think it’s going to be dramatically different, because it’s a new era. It’s a new time,” said JoAnn Newman, president and CEO of Orlando Science Center.
The $13.5 million project received $10 million in funds from Orange County’s tourist development tax.
Another $3 million came from a single donation from Orlando Science Center Trustee Dr. Sarah Layton.
“It’s all about nature and the environment and the eco systems and it just felt right,” Layton said.
Life will focus on three distinct environments: Ocean, Rainforest and Swamp.
Officials said the story of each ecosystem will immerse visitors in the natural world, demonstrate the forces that are having a negative impact and reveal the positive actions that humans are taking and how everyone can help.
The exhibit will also feature a shark tank, a track for squirrels to run about and a touch tank. Newman said the goal of the project is to help raise awareness about the environment and the threats it faces every day.
“It’s so important for us to experience it, because then it starts to bear that love,” she said.
The “Life” exhibit is expected to open in late 2023.