In its first phase, it's an augmented reality sandbox. Move the sand around and the projected contours change in response. Spread your fingers out over the table, and make it rain! Simulated rain follows the color contours of your sandbox just like real water flows down the surface of a watershed.
In its second phase, we will move from showing general hydrological principles to showcasing a 3D model of Milwaukee's river watersheds. Watch as digital water flows down the stream banks of the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic toward the harbor.
In its third phase, we will cap the sandbox and project the water stories of the Milwaukee Community Map in Google Earth onto the interactive surface for deeper exploration.
In its fourth phase, we will share a role-playing game being created by Bryn Summers and Michael Timm that puts players 10 and up into position to make decisions that affect the quality of our waterscape in the past, present, and future.
The sandbox is being programmed in early 2018 and will debut to the public at the Green Schools Conference on June 14. If your organization or school would like to play host to this unique traveling exhibit or provide feedback on the curriculum companion, please contact us to express interest now! If your school is not already part of the GSCM--the Green Schools Consortium of Milwaukee--consider this an added incentive to join this free network of educators, professionals, and agencies. It is our intention to being rotation of the table starting with the fall semester (September 2018), with details TBA. Priority will be given to GSCM schools.
This exciting table is a perfect engagement tool for K-12 educators both within STEM/STEAM and social studies/ELA. It's local. It connects art and science. It uses gameplay to motivate discovery of local water history and inspire discovery about hidden water stories.
For a sneak peek of the table itself, swing by the gallery at Arts @ Large, 908 S. Fifth St., in Walker's Point during regular business hours. It will be on display through March (though traveling to the Wisconsin Black Historical Society on Thursday, March 15.
*Those interested in building their own AR sandbox can find out at the link below. University of California-Davis researchers funded by an NSF grant created the prototype and shared it with the world.