Hi guys, welcome back to Beals Science Now this thing behind me is fantastic this is an augmented reality sandbox. I’ve been working on this thing for a couple of months And its about to blow your mind. I’m not even joking. Check this out! Isn’t this awesome? I know it is hard to tell what it is right now but it is drawing topographic lines on top of the sand so the Xbox 360 eyeball is looking at the surface and it’s projecting down on here and as I move the sand around it redraws new topographic lines.
You can even make it rain. This is super fine white sand and it’s highly reflective so when the light comes down it bounces off and it looks like a projector screen only this projector screen is awesome because it’s interactive so look at this you can see the topography on the sand now if you want to build one of these I’ve got complete instructions it’s going to pop up on the screen and also there’s a link down in the description but what I’m using here is a Kinect.
That Kinect is reading the sand and it requires a whole lot of sand to make this happen in fact this is 250 pounds of play sand and when I finally get this thing built and running this is exactly how I felt. This was months of work now. What’s this thing for well all those lines it’s drawing are topographic lines and what is topography it just shows the contour of the land so you can see this is sea level at least that’s what it’s showing and I’m building a mountain here so that’s going up the mountain and each one of these lines is a contour line it shows that we’re going up in elevation away from sea level so there’s they’re moving their way up to the top the closed circles up there that represents the very very top of the mountain. Now as we work our way down the other side of the mountain back down to sea level and all the way down to the bottom of my fake little ocean here you’re going to see those contour lines moving down again all the way down to the bottom now we haven’t filled it up with water but you can, that’s part of the coolness of this thing.
And you get to destroy. Everybody loves that! The goal in building this was to engage young people with science and technology and these are my kids this is one of the first times I turned it on. They had see me working on it in the garage and setting it up but they never really understood what it was until this moment ‘This is the coolest thing ever!” ‘This is crazy awesome!”. But then they figured it out and within minutes this is what they had made. Completely blew my mind. Now my students in high school. Once I got this thing built I turned on I couldn’t get him away from it took away all the class time I loved every minute of it and so did they. Pretty soon I had a steady stream of teachers coming into my room because they heard about this sandbox thing and they wanted to play.
‘Everybody always tells me why don’t you make it rain well now I can!’ And then a film crew showed up from the local CBS station they spent 20 minutes after the interview playing, playing in the sand isn’t that awesome? And remember I made this for the little kids but everybody fell in love with it and then we decided to do a little more experimenting like projecting landscapes on top of it and building the sand of that landscape this is Nico, one of my students and he decided to make the U.S. Now what about landforms like volcanoes and islands that seems like that’s what everybody wants to build his volcanoes and islands and then destroy them. But it can model so many things the possibilities are endless. Like a village of Monopoly houses on a floodplain and you make it rain there’s so many things you could do. I think one of the great things here is this sort of interplay of Science and Technology and the possibilities for what you could use educationally really are endless with this you know we had a lot of stuff going on over here at Beals Science.
We’ve got some other great projects if you’re thinking about it including a huge cardboard planetarium that you can build. So stop on by, come over to BealsScience.com and check it out! Thanks for watching the concept and program for this was developed by the folks that UC Davis go check them out .