SANTA BARBARA ZOO’S DISCOVERY PAVILION OPEN TO PUBLIC

Santa Barbara, California - March 28, 2014 – A class of twenty school children wiggle and giggle their way into Ridley-Tree Animal Kitchen, part of the Santa Barbara Zoo’s new 9,500-square-foot Discovery Pavilion, to spend a few minutes with Santa Barbara Zoo’s Animal Nutritionist Trent Barnhart.
Holding a container of tiny pellets resembling goldfish food, Mr. Barnhart asks the group, “Does anybody know why this anteater food is so small?”
A number of small hands dart into the air and out spill a variety of thoughtful¬ responses.
Finally, Mr. Barnhart responds, “The reason anteater food is so small is because anteaters don’t have teeth.”
Interacting with the zoo’s “chef to the animals” is just one example of how the zoo’s Discovery Pavilion is helping children think outside the box—and classroom.
Integrating an audiovisual system to meet the dynamic needs of the Discovery Pavilion rested in the hands of Jensen Audio Visual.
“This was a dynamic project,” explains Eric Kalpakoff, engineering manager at Jensen Audio Visual. “There were educational features, design elements, and ADA requirements for a hearing loop.”
Earlier this month, Kalpakoff spoke about the project in the article, “Tuned In,” for Sound & Communication Magazine. (http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/e5bf9b39#/e5bf9b39/16)
“The most exciting part for the children on the tour will be a doorbell for the kitchen,” says Kalpakoff. “Once the doorbell is rung, the kitchen staff can activate an intercom and speak to the kids through in-ceiling microphones and speakers. The children can ask questions about how the meals are prepared, and what different animals eat.”
Creating a system, both educational and functional, Jensen Audio Visual incorporated touch panels, behind-the-scene cameras, educational software, monitors, ceiling-mounted projectors, and more.
The centerpiece of the project, a 2,300-square-foot room, can be divided into two classrooms or kept as one large area for events, presentations, zoo camp, safari sleepovers, and adult education classes. The project also boasts an art gallery, staff library, and volunteer lounge.