Dinosaurs! and People’s United Bank Animal Adventure, will officially open to the public on July 15 at The Center for Science, Teaching & Learning in Rockville Centre. (Courtesy CSTL Photographer: David Conn)

A much-anticipated new attraction called Dinosaurs! And Peoples United Bank Animal Adventure debuts Monday at the Center for Science, Teaching and Learning (CSTL) located in the Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre.

The exhibit in CSTL’s new 3,500-square-foot WAC Lighting Hall features 20-foot-tall model dinosaurs, 17-foot-tall animatronic dinosaurs, and live animals such as emu, owls, goats, alligators, and lizards with 90 percent of these animals being rescued or permanently disabled.

“We want kids to think science is cool again,” CSTL Executive Director Ray Ann Havasy told reporters Wednesday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new exhibit. “I feel like we have done a good job when visitors leave wanting to know even more.”

The exhibit, which is expected to attract 150,000 visitors annually, boasts family-friendly, interactive exhibits so that children can have fun while learning.

“I want kids to learn how animals have evolved to what they are today,” said paleontologist Ryan Ridder, who helped set up the attraction and create the interactive parts of the exhibits.

The attraction will also teach kids about the animals while also giving the rescues a home.

“We want to teach people about how animals cohabit wildlife with us, especially on a place like Long Island and using animals who need a home was a great way of doing this,” said Havasy.

A PSEG sponsorship ensured that the building is the only exhibit in New York State heated and cooled by geothermal energy.

“As our kids are getting more and more into the digital world it’s important to go out, get dirty, and discover the natural world,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

CSTL’s Tanglewood Preserve headquarters is located at 1450 Tanglewood Rd., in Rockville Centre. It’s open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets will be $15 for adults and $12 for children. Kids under 1 are free. For more information, visit cstl.org

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