Union Gas recently donated $2,000 to the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) to support a Virtual Reality Sandbox.
The VR sandbox will be used at the Chatham-Kent and Lambton Children’s Water Festival as well
as at other public events.
The VR sandbox exhibit has many three-dimensional visualization applications that teach children about geography, geology and hydrology. People can use their hands to shape the sand into different landscapes, which are then reflected in real time with a coloured map depicting elevations, contour lines and imaginary lakes, rivers, ponds and wetlands.
Users learn how to read a topographic map and understand the concepts of contour lines and watersheds. This model helps viewers understand the relationships between land elevations and watershed processes such as flooding and erosion.
The VR sandbox consists of a raised sandbox table, camera, computer and projector. A unique software program does the rest.
The unit is transportable and can be showcased at a variety of local public events and venues such as festivals, fairs, expos, libraries and other educational events.
Its debut was at the 2018 International Plowing Match in the Conservation Authority tent where over 6,000 people tested it out.