Birch Buddies


Prospective Students

All majors are welcome, but we are specifically looking for Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Visual Arts majors.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to connect Birch Aquarium visitors to the rich history behind the Hall of Fishes and world-renowned research by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. To do so, we seek to create an interactive component to complement the exhibits within the Hall of Fishes that instead of drawing attention away from the fish, supplements the aquarium experience.

Possible Solutions

  • Replace static information/ placards with an interactive component that will be continuously updated to the current number/type of creature

Current Status of the Project


  • Developing the design that houses the interactive monitors
  • Gathering and researching for materials for a sustainable system
  • Designing a housing that drops fluorescent voltage for Raspberry Pi compatibility


  • Create static display that provides the names of the organisms that are currently present in the tank
  • Debug the previous  system to ensure smooth operation for both aquarium visitors and administrators



  • Prototype the interactive display system that will be used for the exhibits
  • Create appropriate blueprint for technician to install the system


  • Tackle remaining bugs and software issues from previous prototype


  • Birch Aquarium - Their mission is to provide ocean science education, interpret Scripps Oceanography research, and promote ocean conservation.
  • The Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Their mission is to seek, teach, and communicate scientific understanding of the oceans, atmosphere, Earth, and other planets for the benefit of society and the environment.

Team Members

  • Andrew Nguyen
  • Qinyun Cai
  • Antonio Melano Gonzales
  • Alex Tunchez

Faculty Advisor

  • Dr. Dale Stokes

Undergraduate Advisor

  • Emily Yang