WonderLab announces funding for new Earth Science Exhibit

WonderLab is pleased to announce funding from Brabson Library and Educational Foundation for a new exhibit on geography, topography and other earth science topics. With the award WonderLab will be adding the new exhibit, SandScapes – an augmented reality sandbox, to the second floor gallery. 

Augmented reality sandbox systems have been used around the world to showcase geographical features.  The exhibit features a large sand table equipped with overhead sensors and colored lights that survey the colorless sand below and project topographic lines, colors and “water.” As visitors move the sand, the sensors will perceive changes in the height and location of the sand. WonderLab’s ‘SandScapes’ exhibit will be produced by Holosands and Quite Pixel. 

Brabson Library and Educational Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation based in Florida, was founded in 1990. The Foundation’s objective is to support and fund ‘bold and innovative ideas’ that have a profound effect in furthering knowledge in arts and education. WonderLab is grateful for the support and excited to bring this new exhibit to Bloomington. 

“We expect that this new augmented reality sandbox will engage upper elementary through teen visitors, as well as adults,” said Ella Heckman, WonderLab’s Museum Experience Director. “This new exhibit will also bring more experiences to the museum that address Indiana Academic Standards in Earth Science.”

At the SandScapes exhibit visitors can build mountains, dig valleys, create floodplains, and watch virtual water collect and flow over watersheds. As sand is moved the terrain changes color to depict what has been built in a variety of different environments such as mountain, desert, Arctic and even South-Central Indiana. Visitors can use a ‘rain stick’ to create thunderstorms and watch the rain-water collect and move from mountain-top to the valley, into the plains and finally merge with a river or nearby ocean.

“We want visitors to leave with a new curiosity about the landforms around them as well as a better understanding of the role of water in shaping those landforms” said Heckman.

The SandScapes Exhibit will open on the second floor of WonderLab on Saturday, November 16,  2019.

SandScapes is made possible through generous funding from the Brabson Library and Education Foundation and from Royal on the Eastside/ Subaru of America.

WonderLab is an award-winning science museum located at 308 W. Fourth St. on the B-Line Trail in Bloomington, Indiana. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5: p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 – 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $9, and children younger than one are free. For more information call (812) 337-1337, or go online to wonderlab.org or WonderLab’s Facebook page.