Southeastern Section - 66th Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 14-28
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


TREON, Morgan E.1, JOHNSON, Elijah T.1, ANDERSON, Sarah L.1 and WHITMEYER, Shelley J.2, (1)Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, 395 S. High Street, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, (2)Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, 800 South Main ST, Harrisonburg, VA 22807,

Geoscientists frequently use spatial skills to interpret the landscape and explain geologic processes. However, many students find these analyses challenging. The Augmented Reality (AR) sandbox helps students connect 2-dimensional contour maps to 3-dimensional features. The AR sandbox is a physical sandbox with a projector system mounted above it. Topographic contour lines and colors representative of elevation are projected onto the sand surface and are updated in real-time as the sand is manipulated by the user. This is an interactive way for children to experiment with contour lines. Children can use the sandbox to create watersheds and topographic profiles, identify high and low areas, and investigate spatial relationships such as line of site or steepness.

We will create an instructor-led, interactive program using the AR sandbox for a local children’s museum. The purpose of the program is to demonstrate the basic principles of surface water flow and help children further develop spatial reasoning skills. The children will build surficial features in the sandbox and observe how the contour lines change as they alter the surface elevation. This activity will improve the children's ability to identify landforms on a topographic map, and the new knowledge will be applied to basic water management concepts such as direction and velocity of surface flow. The program will be evaluated through pre- and post- activity evaluations, assessing the children’s ability to apply the spatial relationships observed in the sandbox to surface water flow on a 2-dimensional representation of the sandbox and topographic maps. Our poster will present the results of this program.