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BTN LiveBIG: Penn State museum brings science down to earth

In Happy Valley, you don’t have to be a kid to play in the sandbox. This spring, Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery debuted a new augmented-reality sandbox as part of an exhibit about topographical maps. Visitors shape the sand any way they want to inside the box. Then Xbox Kinect sensors relay information about the changes in elevation within the box to a computer that projects a topographical map onto the sand. “You can make rivers and valleys and mountains, and it will project it,” said Julianne Snider, the museum’s assistant director for