RCE Central Semenanjung-2016

1. Project Title: 
[Experiental Learning] MeZoo : Enchancing Experiental Learning For School Children (2016)
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
Zoo Negara, Malaysia
using this technology in their premises for public use
Prof. Dr. Amir Feisal Merican Bin Aljunid Merican
Prof. Dr. Amir Feisal Merican Bin Aljunid Merican
Alternative project contact: 
Prof. Dr. Norzulaani Binti Khalid
Prof. Dr. Norzulaani Khalid
Muhamad Khairul Anuar Bin Senin
Muhamad Khairul Anuar Bin Senin
4. Project type
Select the relevant type for your project: 
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

The Mobile Encyclopedia of the Zoo (MEZooTM) is an online system that delivers information about animals and plants in Zoo Negara Malaysia using a smartphone and QR code. This smartphone-based information system consists of a user interface and an inventory of animals and plants in Zoo Negara, Malaysia.

Nowadays, many of us has a smartphone. By creating this smartphone-based information system, we hope that it could help improve visitors (children, parents etc) knowledge about the animals and plants that are exhibited in Zoo Negara. This is also one of the initiatives that could help Zoo Negara to become a world class zoo. In addition, MEZooTM could provide experiential learning experience to the children, much more powerful than books, comics or TV nature shows. This could attract the attention of children because the smartphone-based information system can give them an additional learning layer, beyond the traditional classroom learning or books. This is one of our main goal which is to provide a smart strategy to expose our children to the vast world of nature together with the use of smartphones. It is an exciting and fun way to learn and study about the animals and plants in Zoo Negara. The children will be inspired to learn more, care more, and do more to save animals and plants and as well their habitats.

The current information board about animals in the Zoo Negara has only little information about the animals such as, amazing facts, habitat and food. In order to provide more information to the visitor, each animal in the Zoo Negara was designated a specific QR code which is placed on the information board (Figure 1). Visitors will scan the QR code using their downloadable QR code reader apps (eg. NeoReader, Quick Scan, QR Reader, and QR Scanner) in their smartphones and information about that particular animal will be readily available on their phone screen. Visitors do not need to spend much time to search for more information about the animals because they just need to scan the QR code and within a few second, the information will be displayed on their smartphone screen.

The information in the system comprises of species name, life span, colour, weight, food, habitat, behavior, reproduction, photos, videos, sounds, and other relevant information about the animals. Besides that, there are games and quizzes also being added in the system which is specially developed to seek the attraction of the children. The URL has been provided in the system and they just need to click the link. Children can learn and at the same time can play exciting games and solve interesting quizzes during their visit to Zoo Negara. Perhaps, this system will replace the manual system that has been used to deliver the animal's information such as paper base-form, pamphlet and books.

Apart from the animal information, MEZooTM also delivers information about plants available in the Zoo Negara. Malaysia is well known for its huge biodiversity including of flora and fauna. More than 15000 higher plant species have been found in Malaysia due to the wet tropical climate, favorable conditions for the growth and evolution. Among them, several categories of plants such as palms, trees, shrubs, exotics, and herbal can be identified in Zoo Negara. The information about these plant species in the system comprises of scientific name, local name, taxonomy, origin, habitat, life span, usage and also their exact location in the zoo. Similarly, each plant species in the Zoo Negara will be designated with a specific QR code which is placed on the information board. Again, the visitors need to scan the QR code and all the information will be displayed on their smartphone.

The MEZooTM system resides on a dedicated server at the Centre of Research for Computational Sciences and Informatics in Biology, Bioindustry, Environment, Agriculture and Healthcare (CRYSTAL), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. In order to educate the visitors on how to use this system, we have also designed a special signage which will be placed at the entrance of Zoo Negara (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Signage for the Giant Panda with the QR code (Please try to scan)


Figure 2: Signage to help visitors using MEZoo









7. Provide references and reference materials : 
6. Project status
The project is successfully done and finalized in July 2016.
8. Tagging