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COSI exhibit bringing dinos back to life

Explore, Escape, Survive,' an exhibit opening at COSI Saturday.

A 3,000-square-foot maze, realistic dinosaurs roaring at their predators, and interactive games that allow players to “Be a Dinosaur” will all be featured at COSI this summer in an exhibit titled “Dinosaurs: Explore, Escape, Survive.”

The exhibit opens Saturday and runs through Sept. 5.

With more than 10,000 square feet of prehistoric games, information and life-like models, Jaclyn Reynolds, public relations and social media manager for COSI, said the exhibit will appeal to many audiences.

“There are aspects of it that are better for kids, but this exhibit is definitely ageless,” Reynolds said.

Elizabeth Stevens, a third-year in aging studies, agrees the exhibit will have broad appeal.

“Everyone loves to still act like a kid sometimes,” Stevens said.

Jennifer Patton, a graduate teaching associate in English and mother of two sons, Alex, 11, and Michael, 13, said that her family does not visit COSI as much as it did when her children were younger.

Still, her children have always enjoyed dinosaurs, and she believes COSI’s hosting of the exhibit is “wonderful.”

“Columbus youngsters are fortunate to have a high-quality exhibit in their own town,” Patton said.

Reynolds said even young adults can find something to engage them at the exhibit.-

“I think the No. 1 thing that college students will really enjoy are the simulator gaming pods,” Reynolds said.

These pods allow visitors to pretend to “be a dinosaur” in an interactive game.

Through the game, players interact with other virtual dinosaurs and must know enough about their prehistoric character to flourish within the game.

“You test your survival skills,” Reynolds said. “The idea behind the game is before you sit down to play it, you should go and learn about how these dinosaurs live.”

Stevens agrees it will attract young adults.

“I think college students would enjoy playing around with … something they loved growing up,” Stevens said.

Still, not all students believe this exhibit will engage the college demographic.

“(It may interest) someone who is actually studying that,” said Tom Huber, a second-year at Columbus State Community College in mechanical engineering. “For the average student at OSU, I’m not sure if it would appeal to them so much.”

The exhibit also boasts a large maze that requires those who enter to answer questions about prehistoric life in order to exit.

The exhibit is more about learning than seeing actual skeletons, Reynolds said.

The exhibit will also host animatronic dinosaurs, which are robotic depictions of what archeologists believe these dinosaurs looked like.

These dinosaurs are set in various scenes, including a triceratops with her newborn offspring, who attempt to walk as well as roar.

Reynolds said the inclusion of all three exhibits within COSI, which are each usually featured on their own, provides a fun way to learn about the creatures that walked the Earth millions of years ago.

“We’re kind of working all of those things to bring something unique to Columbus,” Reynolds said.

Adult tickets cost $24.75.

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