On October 30, what traditionally is known as “Mischief Night” was filled with nothing but treats for the 40 alumni, students and staff in attendance at the College of Engineering’s “From Apps to Apes” Ignite Change event at the Philadelphia Zoo. Hosted by alumnus Richard “Dick” Faris ’69 CE, ’70 MSCE and his wife Marilyn, KidZooU served as the perfect backdrop for this special evening. Guests enjoyed crisp fall temperatures while socializing outdoors, and then moved inside to visit with a variety of zoo residents before gathering for dinner in the Faris Family Education Center.
Owls, budgies and macaws, snakes, spiders and skinks were not the only attractions waiting indoors. A team of Electrical and Computer Engineering students was present to share the Philadelphia Zoo Android app being designed for their senior capstone project. The app supports the Philadelphia Zoo’s innovative ZOO360 program where animals are free to roam in specially designed overhead walkways. The students, who have been mentored by Mr. Faris, developed a social media inspired app that will encourage visitors to share the current location of popular zoo animals using their smartphone’s GPS for easy tracking. The result will be a more interactive experience that also will present opportunities for social media sharing by visitors.