Last fall, TCU students worked with the Fort Worth Zoo to build personalized additions to the environments of five different animals.
Associate professor of art Cameron Schoepp said the collaboration of the two departments was successful for both the students and zoo animals.
“I actually think the students exceeded our expectations,” Schoepp said. “All the projects, I would say, excelled in a way that made a meaningful difference for the animals.”
Students also received hands-on experience and a chance to explore different career options. Senior sculpting major Corry Shaffer said working with the zoo provided a “good insight into what other fields there are for sculpting and environmental science majors.”
Creating enhancements projects for animals is not “something that you think about immediately, but it is necessary for those zoo animals,” Shaffer said.
Although the students focus on different areas of study, the course emphasized their similarities and taught them how to work together, said Patrick Ryan, a senior environmental science major. Working with art students helped him “see a different perspective of how to approach problems and problem-solving within a group,” Ryan said.