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The sandbox is a flexible educational tool that can be used to explore the importance of water, via lines of inquiry in hydrology, earth science, and environmental studies. Big Idea - Water is a critical resource for all life on earth. The land-forms found on the earth’s surface were created by a variety of processes such as erosion, tectonics, and glaciation. When water flows on the earth’s surface, it travels, converges and diverges based on the shape of land-forms. This distribution of water which
leads to regions called watersheds plays a key role in the type and distribution of ecosystems around the world. Science Learning Objectives - As a result of engaging in play with the AR sandbox, students will be able to understand the concepts detailed in the list below.
General:
1) The shape of the earth’s surface defines regions called watersheds.
2) Watersheds are areas of land which drain to a particular body of water.
3) There are a variety of ways in which watersheds impact ecosystems and humans.
Topographic Maps:
1) Understand the construction of topographic maps and the use of contour lines to show the earth’s surface in three dimensions.
2) Create a 3 dimensional model from a topographic map.
Land-forms / Geology:
1) Understand how the earth’s surface changes through natural processes like erosion and
deposition, which are driven by movement of water
2) Create a physical model of a variety of land-forms.
3) Explore erosional and depositional processes.
Hydrology:
1) Understand how liquid water moves on the earth’s surface and how its flow relates to land surface elevation and shape.
2) Develop an awareness of the watershed in which they live.
3) Understand the diversity of landforms and water bodies found on the planet.
4) Develop a list of ways to conserve water and protect watersheds at home or at school.

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Jabil: Augmented Reality Sandbox with Real-Time Water Flow Simulation

grant photo
School:
Bay Point Middle School 
Subject:
Stem 
Teacher:
James Papia 
 
All school science, math, and engineering teachers. 
Students Impacted:
800 
Grade:
6-8 
Date:
December 26, 2015

Investor

Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.

 

Jabil - $1,199.00

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Goal

The sandbox is a flexible educational tool that can be used to explore the importance of water, via lines of inquiry in hydrology, earth science, and environmental studies. Big Idea - Water is a critical resource for all life on earth. The land-forms found on the earth’s surface were created by a variety of processes such as erosion, tectonics, and glaciation. When water flows on the earth’s surface, it travels, converges and diverges based on the shape of land-forms. This distribution of water which
leads to regions called watersheds plays a key role in the type and distribution of ecosystems around the world. Science Learning Objectives - As a result of engaging in play with the AR sandbox, students will be able to understand the concepts detailed in the list below.
General:
1) The shape of the earth’s surface defines regions called watersheds.
2) Watersheds are areas of land which drain to a particular body of water.
3) There are a variety of ways in which watersheds impact ecosystems and humans.
Topographic Maps:
1) Understand the construction of topographic maps and the use of contour lines to show the earth’s surface in three dimensions.
2) Create a 3 dimensional model from a topographic map.
Land-forms / Geology:
1) Understand how the earth’s surface changes through natural processes like erosion and
deposition, which are driven by movement of water
2) Create a physical model of a variety of land-forms.
3) Explore erosional and depositional processes.
Hydrology:
1) Understand how liquid water moves on the earth’s surface and how its flow relates to land surface elevation and shape.
2) Develop an awareness of the watershed in which they live.
3) Understand the diversity of landforms and water bodies found on the planet.
4) Develop a list of ways to conserve water and protect watersheds at home or at school.  

 

What will be done with my students

Primary Activities
● Think out loud together and explore the concept of elevation. Ask students what they notice about the sandbox and the projected visualization. Ask students to consider how the colors and lines change as they construct different features in the land surface.
“What color is the top of the mountain? On the sides of the hill, the sand is a different color. If you dig a hole, the color will change again. Different colors are representing different heights. Geologists call different heights above sea level elevation . The
model shows different elevations as different colors.”
● Introduce the concept of a topographic map . Tell students that when scientists study watersheds and ecosystems it is useful to know how the land dips and rises – where the hills, valleys, ridges, stream beds, and plains are. Most maps don’t tell us this information. They may show cities, roads, and rivers, but not valleys, ridges, and mountains. Topographic maps are a special type of map that do show how the land rises and falls.
● Introduce contour lines. Many students are not familiar with contour lines. There are several ways the snadbox can help them understand the concept.
1. First, ask students to choose a line in the sandbox and trace their finger along it .
“The whole line you just traced is the exact same distance above the floor in this room. Everywhere on that line is the same height in the sandbox. These are called contour lines because they contour to the surface at the same height. That is, if you were to walk along a contour line, you would not climb up or down, but stay at the same elevation at all times.”
“Scientists use contour lines to show what the landscape looks like on flat maps. Different spacings and shapes of lines indicate three dimensional
features on the surface of Earth. Moving from one contour line to another always indicates a change
in elevation. The contour interval is the vertical distance between two adjacent lines and is exactly and always the same between each contour line on a given map.”
2. Ask students to read the first panel of the sandbox graphic to show how the lines relate to land-forms. Explain that contour lines are used to show what the landscape (e.g., a mountain in the graphic) looks like on a flat map. Show students, for instance, that the points on the mountain that are 300 feet above sea level are represented by the smallest (300’) circle on the contour map.
3. Hold a large white poster board above the sand. The lines and colors are clearer on the poster board so students can get a better understanding of
what is being projected on the sand.
● Build different shapes to explore the properties of contour lines.
“Build a mountain with steep sides. Notice the distance between the contour lines on
your mountain. Now build a low, gentle hill, and notice how the spacing of the lines is
different. Which of your land-forms would be easier to walk up? What do the lines look like in a valley? What do the lines look like on a flat plain? The closer that contour lines are to one another, the steeper the slope is in the real world (e.g. mountains). Contours that are spaced further apart represent a shallow to flat slope (e.g. floodplain).
What do you notice about how contour lines interact with one another? Every contour line must eventually connect at its ends. Contour lines can never cross one another; each line represents a separate elevation.”
● Explore how water flows in relation to the contour lines. Focus on the rule that contour lines point upstream. Ask students to predict which way water will flow based on the pattern of contour lines. Then ask them to make it rain and test their prediction. Point out how the water eventually settles along a contour line.
● Model a variety of landforms . Students often name and/or create a variety of landforms without prompting. Suggest landforms to make:
mountains, volcanoes, islands, archipelagos, ridges, hills, straits, cliffs, mesas, dunes, buttes, peninsulas, isthmuses, alluvial fans, valleys, deltas, canyons, craters, basins, flood plains, deserts, lakes, rivers, drainage patterns (e.g., dendritic), meanders, creeks, dams.
● Model local watershed. Ask students where the water they drink and use comes from. Explain that they live in a watershed and most likely some of their water supply comes from the rain that falls in their watershed. Show students a topographic map, photograph or raised relief map of the local
watershed. Challenge them to build a model of their watershed in the sandbox. When they’re finished, point out a location in the watershed and ask where they think rain that falls on that location might travel. Then ask for a volunteer to make it rain and test the hypotheses. Help students locate their homes within the watershed and solicit observations about the water resources that they might be aware of in their neighborhoods.
Discuss possible sources of pollution and ask students to think about how pollution occurring in one part of a watershed could affect the entire watershed. As water flows over the land, it picks up sediment, soil chemicals, and pollutants and transports them to lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater.
● Dig a lake. Encourage students to make lakes of different shapes. Discuss with students how lakes are formed from glaciers, faulting, or warping of the Earth’s crust. Some lakes are human made. There are different lakes around the world with different depths, shapes, chemistries, and ecosystems.
● Discuss the water cycle. Ask students what they think happens to the water once it travels down over landforms and into bodies of water and the soil. Ask them where they think the rain that they are modeling with their hands comes from. Explain that water is involved in a neverending cycle. Once rainwater runs off into rivers and other bodies of
water, energy from the sun evaporates the water into the air. Atmospheric winds move the water vapor around and it eventually forms clouds, water vapor that has cooled and condensed into a collection of liquid water. When those clouds get heavy enough, they produce rain or snow and the whole cycle starts over again. 

 

Benefits to my students

To reinforce math and engineering concepts through the design and physical construction of an augmented reality sandbox. To use the state-of-the-art technology to help Earth Science students learn how to interpret topographic maps and better understand stream erosion and landscape development. This project will impact approximately 800-900 students in grades 6-8 during the various Earth Science, Ecology, and Engineering middle school benchmarks from the current school year and forward. 

 

Describe the Students

Students involved cover all ranges, from ESE, low level, advanced, to gifted. Sandbox lessons can be differentiated to accommodate all levels. 

 

Budget Narrative

The "Relevent" grant would go towards hardware acquisition ($400). The above is a material list for construction of sandbox. Included in the list is a breakdown of the costs for building the actual sandbox, constructing mounting brackets for the camera and unit, and a shelf to store the computer. The sandbox needs to be constructed on wheels so it can be mobile to be used in various classrooms. The list also includes a breakdown of the hardware necessary to make the topographic map and water flow software run efficiently. This science and technology departments do not have adequate funds to cover the cost of a largescale
project. The materials needed to construct the augmented reality sandbox would wipe out most
or all of the departments’ remaining annual budgets. Funding a large project such as this would not leave money available for general class and lab supplies. 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Sandbox Materials (wood, metal, fasteners, screws, nails, wheels, polyurethane, steel brackets, wheels) $400.00
2 Xbox Kinect 3D Camera $119.00
3 Digital Data Projector - BenQ MX620ST above-centerline short-throw XGA DLP projector with 13000:1 contrast ratio and 3000 ANSI lumens $530.00
4 200 lbs. Sandtastik White Play Sand $150.00
5 Computer with Graphics Card (Model Intel Core i7 C with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 graphics card, and the current release of the 64-bit versions of Ubuntu or Fedora Linux) $0.00
  Total: $1,199.00

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