Geology lab installs ‘augmented reality sandbox’

The Physical Science Department is pleased to announce the completion of the Augmented Reality sandbox. The AR sandbox is one of the newest teaching tools for students enrolled in geology courses in the Physical Science Department at GRCC. The AR sandbox projects virtual topography and water onto a real sandbox. Students can shape the sand, which is augmented in real time to show an elevation color map, contour lines, and water.

The AR sandbox is an important tool for GRCC geology students learning about topographic maps and contours lines. Through manipulating the sand and water features, students can explore geologic and hydrologic principles and learn about flooding, mass wasting, and volcanic hazards.

The prototype for the AR sandbox was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and built at UC Davis’ Department of Geology. Detailed instructions for constructing the sandbox and the free software are available online.

We are grateful to the following individuals for collaborating to build the AR sandbox here at GRCC:

  • Chad Senna, IT
  • Eric Schuemann, Tutoring Services
  • Michael Coluzzi, GRCC student
  • Pam Scott, Physical Science
  • Jim Steensman, Facilities
  • Jennifer Batten, Physical Science
  • Tari Mattox, Physical Science

You can see a video of the AR sandbox in action on the GRCC Physical Science Facebook page.

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