"What we're trying to do really is celebrate life," Academy director of public programs Chris Andrews said. "It's all about how we as a species got here, what's around us and how we're all going to stay in the future."
The Academy is a unique combination of the Steinhart Aquarium, the Morrison Planetarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum and a research institution all in one.
Some of the old favorites are back. Visitors can still play with a penguin and there is a swamp like the one in the old Academy.
There is still the same focus on saving the planet, but this time the building itself is part of the message. The Academy is breaking new ground with a 90-foot diameter dome with a rainforest inside, one of the largest coral reef exhibits in the world and an aquarium program that combines science facts with a science fiction look.
"We are the same academy in a very different sort of wrapping, if you will," Andrews said.
Written and produced by Jennifer Olney