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MBIT students gain real world experience at zoo

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James Davey, multimedia technology instructor at MBIT, 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.

The 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.

The project was headed up by Davey who worked with Elmwood Park Zoo Marketing Director Shaun Rogers to create the experience. The collaboration drives home directives for both organizations to educate, inspire and motive youth to action, relating to their own sense of meaning and purpose.

Students not only enjoyed the production experience, but also the zoological landscapes spanning over 16 acres in Norristown, and showcasing more than 100 different species.

Zach Gehring, an audio production student, noted that “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.” 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,” Jake Phillips, cinema production student said. “It was cool to shoot pictures of live animals because it teaches you to adjust to the environment, and helps prepare you to anticipate the unexpected.”

Ethan Skilar, 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 multimedia technology students fielded three video production teams, and audio podcast team, and several photographic teams for the initiative, and are currently in post-production.


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