Miami Science Museum’s New Hands-on Stingray Sea Lab Exhibit To Give Up Close View Of Sea Life

Miami Science Museum announces the opening of its newest exhibit: Stingray Sea Lab on May 28th as part of the inaugural Miami Underwater Festival. Stingray Sea Lab, open to all ages, will include a 3,000-gallon stingray touch tank.
 
 
May 25, 2011 - PRLog -- Miami Science Museum announces the opening of its newest exhibit: Stingray Sea Lab on Saturday, May 28, 2011, as part of the inaugural Miami Underwater Festival. Stingray Sea Lab, open to all ages, will include a 3,000-gallon stingray touch tank, a small invertebrate touch tank, a sea grass tank and an algae refugium. Hands-on exhibits, including a video microscope station and dissection lab, are interspersed throughout the exhibit. Stingray Sea Lab will serve as a prototype for the new Miami Science Museum’s aquarium, scheduled to open in Museum Park in 2014 (Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science).

“This new exhibit is designed to give visitors a very personal experience with local sea life. Visitors will get to touch live stingrays at this new 3,000 gallon touch tank then discover what is found in Miami’s amazing and diverse sea grass beds, from crabs and seahorses, to the many baby fish that start their lives there,” said Frank Steslow, Miami Science Museum COO. “The Stingray Sea Lab will allow us to test different technologies and prototype the exhibit so that we can build an efficient, educational and visually stunning aquarium at the new Museum.”

The Stingray Touch Tank will feature four different species of stingrays native to South Florida, including cow nose, southern, Atlantic and yellow stingrays, housed in a 3,000-gallon saltwater touch tank. The 200 square foot touch tank is 3 feet deep and features approximately 30 feet of viewing window space, allowing guests of all ages to gain access and touch the stingrays while still providing a center area where the animals can rest. Visitors are encouraged to dip their hands into the water and allow the stingrays to touch them. Stingrays are incredible creatures and they make for a fun, hands-on, educational family experience. To ensure the safety of visitors, caretakers who carefully monitor the stingray exhibit also trim the animals’ barbs – the whip-like tail parts that can sting – in a painless process that is similar to trimming human fingernails. In addition, Museum staff will be available to answer guests’ questions, explain how stingrays live and demonstrate the best way to touch them.

The Invertebrate Touch Tank will feature small invertebrates native to South Florida, including sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, hermit crabs and corals. With the assistance of Museum staffers, visitors will be able to touch the live invertebrates and learn more about them.

The Sea Grass Tank and Algae Refugium (separate tanks) will feature different types of sea grass and algae found in the waters around South Florida as well as the animals and marine life that call sea grass and algae beds home. Visitors will be able to investigate sea grass and algae as these microscopic marvels convert sunlight into oxygen and food for the planet. The algae refugium will be lit using a natural light resource on one side and an LED light on the other side to show how different light sources can affect algae growth.

The exhibit will also feature:

•   A video microscope station, including necropsy (dissection) demonstrations, which will allow visitors to investigate marine life on a microscopic level.
•   Interconnected touch tanks: The Sea Grass Tank and Algae Refugium will also serve to filter the Stingray Touch Tank as all three are interconnected.
•   Energy-saving LED lights.
•   Mangroves.
•   Water chemistry demonstrations.

*Miami Science Museum will host the inaugural Miami Underwater Festival, in partnership with the Festival Mondiale de l’Image Sous-Marine (World Festival of Underwater Images), from France, sponsored by Everest Capital May 27-28th. The Festival will highlight a selection of prize-winning films from the 37th Festival Mondiale de l’Image Sous-Marines, showcasing the very best artistic, photographic and cinematographic productions related to the underwater world.

Miami Underwater Festival activities and screenings are included with Miami Science Museum admission (Adults: $14.95, Seniors: $10.95, Students with ID and Children: $10.95, Children Under 3: Free). Festival only tickets per screening time: Adults: $8.00, Children: $5.00, Children Under 3: Free. Festival only tickets include admission to screenings, activities in the lobby and Stingray Sea Lab exhibit. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

For more information and a complete list of films featured, visit:  http://www.miamisci.org/events/MiamiUnderwaterFestival

Admission
Admission is free for Miami Science Museum members and children under 3; students (with valid ID), seniors (62+) and children 3 – 12, $10.95; adults are $14.95. Entry to Stingray Sea Lab is included in the price of admission.

Hours
The Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily.

More Information
For more information, visit www.miamisci.org or call (305) 646-4200. See the Museum on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MiamiScienceMuseum), Twitter (www.twitter.com/MiaSci) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/MiamiScienceMuseum).

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Miami Science Museum aims to make a difference in people’s lives by inspiring them to appreciate the impact that science and technology can have on every facet of our world. For over 60 years, Miami Science Museum’s award-winning educational programs, family-focused exhibits, historic planetarium, and rehabilitative Wildlife Center and Clinic have enriched locals and tourists alike. In 2014, the legacy continues with the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, a new world-class, state-of-the-art facility designed by Grimshaw Architects in the heart of downtown Miami. Miami Science Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For more information about the Museum , visit www.miamisci.org or call (305) 646-4200.

Miami Science Museum is funded with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
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