by Jennifer Kvapil, Project Coordinator August 9th, 2019
In early September, an Ideum team will travel to New Orleans to attend the annual Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) conference. AZA is the primary professional and accreditation organization for American zoos and aquariums. AZA sets the highest standards for all aspects of operations, including a requirement for thoughtful and innovative approaches to conservation education. This focus on innovation and education makes AZA facilities an ideal match for Ideum products and exhibit-development services.
We’ll be at booth 642 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where we will display several products and applications that have the potential to inspire, educate, and delight zoo and aquarium visitors. One such exhibit - the Chow Time application running on an Ideum Portrait kiosk - will allow conference attendees to try their hand at a gamified penguin experience, currently deployed at the Albuquerque BioPark’s Penguin Chill exhibition. At the exhibit, visitors move their bodies to direct a swimming penguin toward food and away from danger. This role-playing experience allows visitors to visualize themselves as a penguin, encouraging empathy and illustrating ways that people impact penguins in the wild.
We will also showcase several additional experiences that highlight the interactive possibilities of our multitouch tables and displays. We’ll be showing a new multistation map viewer with linked smartphone app we created for The Historic New Orleans Collection. Map-based applications are natural fits for zoos and aquariums as they allow visitors to plan their day and schedule key events like keeper talks or presentations. A quick upload to their phone keeps their itinerary handy at all times.
We are also excited to demonstrate our tangible experiences. Conservation education lessons often involve biofacts, such as bones, skins, claws, or teeth, that help visitors learn about wildlife. Our Tangible Engine technology can allow docents and educators to use objects to seamlessly display a variety of different media, such as pictures, sounds, and videos, to help visitors put biofacts into context. We also look forward to discussing with keepers and educators the ways in which digital enrichment can play a growing role in high-quality animal husbandry.
We are looking forward to spending time with the dedicated animal care and education professionals at the conference and brainstorming ways we can work together to educate zoo and aquarium visitors and inspire conservation action. See you in New Orleans!