MIAMI (CBS4) -- More than 1,000 people poured into the Miami Science Museum this weekend to explore its newest attraction, the Stingray Sea Lab.
The museum's new permanent exhibit features kid-friendly collections of rare fish, shellfish, coral, sea plant life and a 3,000 gallon touch tank containing several varieties of rays.
The stingray sea lab allows young students to get a hands-on lesson with underwater life.
"Oh man, I'm going to touch a sting ray," exclaimed an eight-year-old who was visiting the exhibit with his 3rd grade class from Miami Springs Elementary.
Kids and adults can touch four different types of species of Stingray that live inside the 3,000 gallon touch tank. Also included in the exhibit; a sea grass tank teeming with crab, tropical fish and stunning sea horses.
This state of the art exhibit will serve as a prototype for the new Miami Science Museums aquarium set to be complete in 2014.
"We're going to make the design more animal friendly, people friendly and ecologically friendly," said Skip Uricchio who helped create the exhibit at the Miami Science Museum.
The Stingray Sea Lab is designed to give visitors a very personal experience with local sea life.
"Having this exhibit here you actually get to see what's under the water," said Justin Miranda who is a herpetologist at the museum.
Instructors at the museum encourage youngsters to put their hands under the clear blue surface to feel everything below.
All the marine animals in the exhibit are from Florida's beautiful waters.
For more information log onto the MiamiScienceMuseum's website: http://www.miamisci.org/
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