On Wednesday, July 10, the Center for Science, Teaching & Learning (CSTL), a nonprofit organization with a mission to encourage science learning through hands-on STEM-based programs, held a ribbon cutting at the Tanglewood Preserve Campus in Rockville Centre for Long Island’s very own dinosaur and animal attraction. This program at the new WAC Lighting Hall of Science officially opened on July 15, featuring two attractions: Dinosaurs! and People’s United Bank Animal Adventure.
“I think the attractions are both engaging and fascinating, and I am excited to see what more is to come,” said Marlene McDonnell, president of InnovateLI.
According to Dr. Ray Ann Havasy, CSTL Executive Director, the theme of the attraction is how animals adapt and survive, which is demonstrated through unique dinosaur models and live animals throughout the exhibit. As the attraction focuses on animal adaptation, it is highlighted by a 10-foot-tall model of a Struthiomimus, a dinosaur, which is covered in feathers showing the direct link between the dinosaurs of the past and birds of today.
“It’s amazing to have an exhibit like this in our very own backyard and it’s perfect for kids. As a former teacher, I would definitely bring my students here,” said Kathy Baxley, the Deputy Mayor of Rockville Centre.
More than 150,000 school children and families from the New York region and beyond are expected to visit this exhibit annually, as the center already gets about 80 kids every two weeks.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony included state and local elected officials and business leaders. During the ceremony, Havasy shared that the exhibit is the only exhibit in New York State heated and cooled by geothermal energy, clean and sustainable heat from the Earth.
In addition to geothermal energy, the lights in the attraction are all LED based.
“LED lights have very good control and consumes very little energy,” Tony Wang, chairman and CEO of WAC Lighting said.
The new attraction features 75 unique exhibits, including breathtaking 20-foot tall model dinosaur skeletons, two 19-foot animatronic dinosaur models, floor-to-ceiling murals of prehistoric dinosaurs, and a wide assortment of live wild animals.
About 90 percent of the animals within the attraction are either rescued or disabled, including owls, emu, golden pheasants, goats, alligators, lizards, turtles and frogs.
“We decided to use animals that needed homes,” Havasy said.
Dinosaurs! and People’s United Bank Animal Adventure is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CSTL is located at Tanglewood Preserve, 1450 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre. Tickets can be purchased on site and are $15 for adults, $12 for children under 10 and children under one are free. For special group rates and programs for special events, birthday parties, camps trips and school field trips call 516-764–0045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.