Family REC Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park Gets Augmented Reality Sandbox

MINERAL, CA –A new high-tech sandbox at Lassen Volcanic National Park teaches concepts relating to topography and watersheds through touch.

“We are excited to offer this cutting-edge technology as a tool for visitors of all ages to learn more about the park,” stated Park Superintendent Steve Gibbons. “It is easy to learn about things we can see and touch and the sandbox brings a tangible element to abstract concepts.”

The Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox allows visitors to mold miniature mountains, lakes, and rivers using only their hands. A projector mounted above the sandbox adds a dynamic topographic map with contour lines and elevation colors updated in real-time. Visitors can also create virtual rain that shows runoff and watershed on the landscape.

Corning High School students donated the sandbox that was initially constructed for the Maker Space at the Tehama County Fair with support from Rolling Hills Foundation and Lassen Park Foundation board member, Scott Chandler, and his wife, Dorothy. The team of thirteen students replicated an original system developed through a National Science Foundation grant. Learn more about the original project at

Visitors are encouraged to dig into the new AR Sandbox at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. To see the AR Sandbox in action go

Visitors coming to the park should also be prepared for a range of weather conditions. Check the most recent weather forecast, dress in layers, carry food and water. Stow a shovel, extra blankets and tire chains in your vehicle in case unexpected winter road conditions delay your travel.

For more information, please contact the park at 530-595-4480 or e-mail us.

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About the author

Charlie REC magazine - Charlie Pankey ~ Publisher

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