A collaborative effort came to fruition in the Gillingham Innovation Center (GIC) last week! This effort began with an idea inspired by NASA ‘s Young Astronaut Day. Our technology director, Mrs. Morgan attended this event with students, and saw examples of augmented reality sandboxes in action! This led to the plan to design and build one for SAS that could be available to our students and provide a new opportunity for relevant, deeper, hands-on learning!


What is an Augmented Reality Sandbox?

An Augmented Reality Sandbox allows students to interact with a miniature landscape, sculpting mountains, valleys, rivers and even volcanoes, with off the shelf readily available parts. Ours is a large box with 3 D Kinect Computer interaction that reacts to topography levels of sand in the box to illustrate topographical maps of land and water broadcast onto the sand.

Topographic maps are crucial tools used by geologists, geographers and adventurous hikers.

What Does This Mean For Our Students?


An augmented reality sandbox provides our students with a hands-on approach to learn and master many standards.

Opportunities to:

  • Understand the construction of topographic maps and the use of contour lines to show the earth’s surface in three dimensions.
  • ­Create a 3 ­dimensional model from a topographic map.
  • Understand how the earth’s surface changes through natural processes like erosion and deposition, which are driven by the movement of water. ­
  • Create a physical model of a variety of landforms.
  • ­Explore erosion and deposition processes.
  • ­Understand how liquid water moves on the earth’s surface and how its flow relates to land surface elevation and shape.
  • Develop an awareness of the watershed in which they live.
  • ­Understand the diversity of landforms and water bodies found on the planet.
  • Develop a list of ways to conserve water and protect watersheds at home or at school.


Thank You!

This TREMENDOUS team effort included our Technology Director, Mrs. Amy Morgan, our talented Building and Grounds committee, our tech-savvy and passionate parent, Scott Scheutzow, and generous donations from the Shreve and Graham families.

The Building and Grounds committee built the structure, Mr. Mullen assisted in painting the structure and Mr. Scheutzow worked tirelessly to bring the computer components together to bring this vision to life!

The Augmented Reality Sandbox has been operational since last Friday and the students and staff alike are more than thrilled with the addition of this new piece of technology in the GIC! Thank you to everyone who worked to make this project a huge success and helped us to continue to lead the way and provide “Everything for Every Student, Every Day”.