James Davey, Multimedia Technology instructor at Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, took his 45 students to the Elmwood Park Zoo in late October to provide them with real world experiences, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and interesting subjects.
This educational partnership with the Elmwood Park Zoo benefits both students of MBIT and Elmwood Park Zoo, with content development for the zoo’s new social media app, while providing MBIT students the opportunity to collaborate and synthesize real time production challenges.
This project was headed up by Davey, who worked with the zoo’s marketing director, Shaun Rogers, to create this unique experience. The commonality between both organizations is that both are educational institutions that strive to enlighten the community and empower children with engagement. The zoo’s mission is “to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment that will inspire active participation in conversation.” This collaboration drives home directives for both organizations – to educate, inspire and motivate our youth to action, relating to their own sense of meaning and purpose.
Students not only enjoyed the production experience, but also the gorgeous zoological landscapes spanning more than 16 acres in Norristown and showcasing more than 100 different species.
“Zoo keepers and volunteers were helpful, and it gave me the opportunity to practice capturing audio in natural settings. This helps me prepare for State competitions in the spring,” said Zach Gehring, an Audio Production student.
The animals within the zoo provide a rare instance to capture unpredictable, live subjects. The challenge of working around fixed objects (such as fences or glass windows) also tested their ability to analyze and apply trouble-shooting skills.
For MBIT students, the learning experience was more than they initially anticipated.
“Sometimes, you can’t learn it until you do it. It was cool to shoot pictures of live animals because it teaches you to adjust to the environment, and it helps prepare you to anticipate the unexpected,” said Jake Phillips, Cinema Production student.
Ethan Skillar, photographer, commented that he “enjoyed the challenges of working with this setting, and I am proud of the work we did and would be happy to do it again.”
MBIT Technology students fielded three video production teams, an audio podcast team, and several photographic teams for the initiative, and are currently in post-production. For more information, contact Kristin Feeney, education coordinator, at 215-343-2480, Ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle Bucks Institute of Technology offers a complete array of career, technical and pre-professional courses to enhance the academic programs of all students. The Middle Bucks campus is located on York Road in Jamison, Warwick Township. The school services students from the Centennial, Central Bucks, Council Rock and New Hope-Solebury School Districts. The 22 educational programs at MBIT are organized into five career pathways, all geared to preparing students to meet the growing needs of high priority occupations in Pennsylvania.