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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

AHS Students Dig Deeper with Augmented Reality Sandbox

Andover High School students enrolled in the Innovation Lab & Student Help Desk are currently building an augmented reality sandbox.  As a team the students are creating a hands-on exhibit combining a real sandbox, and virtual topography and water created using a Microsoft Kinect 3D camera, powerful simulation and visualization software, and a projector. The resulting augmented reality (AR) sandbox allows users to create topography models by using real sand to create various landscapes. In real time the visual display will then simulate the topographic including simulated water. 

The project was inspired by the team at UC Davis, who also created a virtual sandbox.  “The system teaches geographic, geologic, and hydrologic concepts such as how to read a topography map, the meaning of contour lines, watersheds, catchment areas, levees, etc.” (

The students have designed their own sandbox structure, projector and camera mounts, as well as building their own computer, which will run the software. The project will be presented at the Harvard School of Education's LearnLaunch Initiative in January.

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