Oklahoma’s first and only AR sandbox visits Stillwater Public Library Aug. 7-25


Kids, teens and families are invited to the Stillwater Public Library to try out a hands-on, augmented reality (AR) sandbox that uses 3D software to make the sand’s hills and valleys come alive. The sandbox is available for viewing and interaction 1-5 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 5-7 p.m. each Thursday from Aug. 7-25.

The sandbox was initially conceived by researchers at U.C. Davis. Science groups across the world then began building the sandboxes. According to the U.C. Davis site, Stillwater is currently the only town in Oklahoma to have one.

The project was created by teens in the library’s teen Makerspace program. The program takes place once a month during the “Fribrary” schedule, which includes different types of programs for students in 6-12 grades every Friday of the school year. Teens began building the sandbox in January and completed it in May.

“We chose this project to let the teens tackle a design challenge from start to finish,” said Amanda Bell, teen services librarian. “I gave them our physical and financial restrictions and showed them how to find information online, but the entire project was theirs. From the shopping lists and computer assembly to the coding and final product, every single step was designed and carried out by the teens.”

The teens will be choosing a new maker space project to begin in the fall.

“The most popular option we’ve discussed so far has been a hydroponic garden,” said Bell. “We are all excited to get started. I have been amazed to see the teamwork between the teens and to see how friendly and inclusive everyone was.”

The sandbox will be offered for use by another organization following its showing at the library.

“Although I’ve not yet had the opportunity to meet and discuss the sandbox with the local schools, I am hopeful that we might be able to send it to visit each of them,” said Bell. “It could be a great way for kids and teens to study topography, earth sciences, geography, weather and many other topics.”

The sandbox will be located inside the library’s storytime room. A volunteer will be available to answer questions for people viewing it. Children eight and under should be accompanied by an adult.

Sandbox viewing times may be expanded. Please check the library’s website at http://library.stillwater.org for updated times.

The “Fribrary” Makerspace program returns September 15 at 6:30 p.m. Other “Fribrary” programs include:

  • First Friday – Teen Advisory Committee
  • Second Friday – Anime Club
  • Third Friday – Makerspace
  • Fourth Friday – Fandom nights

“Fribrary” programs and projects are free and funded by the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library. Additional funding was provided by Lowe’s.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).