AR Sandbox

Topographical maps brought to life
Posted on 08/14/2018

The Poplar Bluff R-I Instructional Technology Department fabricated an interactive 3-D topographical map as a summer project to help further engage students this year as they learn earth science concepts. 

The augmented reality software was made available for free by UC Davis developers, who secured a grant through the National Science Foundation to educate about freshwater lake ecosystems. The IT department first became aware of the AR Sandbox during a MOREnet conference.

Poplar Bluff Superintendent Dr. Scott Dill commended the staff for going above and beyond to enhance the learning experience for students even though their primary responsibility is to “keep the hardware going” in classrooms. 

“To me, this is what true instructional technology is all about,” said R-I Chief Technology Officer Aaron Badgley, who constructed the box while Computer Technician Holden Jennings helped program the Xbox sensor. The mobile contraption holds 250 pounds of highly reflective sand that does not produce fine particle dust. 

Middle School teacher Tana Bringer plans to kick off her STEM curriculum this month with the AR Sandbox, and then the hands-on exhibit will be available for teachers throughout the district to incorporate into lessons.


Cutline: Summer school students have the honor of testing out the AR Sandbox for the first time.

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