Graduate students from George Fox University are hoping to blaze new trails—albeit high-tech trails—to help negotiate Zoo Boise's wildlife.
A quartet of MBA students, attending George Fox's Boise satellite campus, say they have plans to build a mobile application for Zoo Boise as part of their curriculum.
“We talked about creating a mobile app for the zoo because, quite simply, we knew they didn’t have one,” group member Nick Yates told Boise Weekly.
George Fox MBA candidates are requited to complete a year-long capstone community service project, working with a local nonprofit organization.
Yates and his colleagues told BW that they were given the green light for their proposed app development shortly after first meeting with their George Fox adviser and zoo officials.
“We approached the zoo to see if we could do this as our project, which is untraditional,” he said. “Usually, nonprofits approach George Fox."
The application is slated to include an interactive, GPS-enabled map of the zoo, ticket purchasing and donating ability, and will also include further information on featured exhibits and conservation efforts.
“We envision this app as a way for visitors to be fully immersed in the zoo experience and a one-stop shop to answer any questions,” said Liz Littman, development and communications director for Zoo Boise.
Though plans for the project were coordinated with zoo officials, the students said funding for the application must be procured through community donations before any practical software design can begin.
“As far as outreach and the people we have talked to, they think it’s a great idea, but as far as actual funds towards it goes, it's been a bit of a struggle for us,” group member Nicole Kent said.
The project is expected to cost around $6,000, and the students are hoping to obtain the necessary capital through traditional fundraising events, as well as online donation sites like Indiegogo.
“We are hoping to do a couple more Saturday Market events where we can promote awareness and possibly get some donations,” Yates said.