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Shifting sands put students on solid academic ground

Lyon (left foreground) and Anita R. Wood, an associate professor of computer information technology who helped facilitate the sandbox installation, orient students.
Lyon (left foreground) and Anita R. Wood, an associate professor of computer information technology who helped facilitate the sandbox installation, orient students.
Weston L. Laity, of Blandon, an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major, recently updated the AR Sandbox software.
Weston L. Laity, of Blandon, an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major, recently updated the AR Sandbox software.
The sandbox, on the second floor of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center ...
The sandbox, on the second floor of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center …
... awaits the hands that will bring the landscape to life.
… awaits the hands that will bring the landscape to life.
Students assess the virtual, visual representation of altered terrain. From left are Ashly M. Gagliardi, of Belle Vernon; Scott R. Seneca, of Lewisburg; and Matthew J. Eck, of Carlisle, all majoring in civil engineering technology.
Students assess the virtual, visual representation of altered terrain. From left are Ashly M. Gagliardi, of Belle Vernon; Scott R. Seneca, of Lewisburg; and Matthew J. Eck, of Carlisle, all majoring in civil engineering technology.

The objective of Penn College’s Augmented Reality Sandbox, earmarked as an interdisciplinary tool from its very installation in Fall 2017, was honored this week through a visit by several classes from the School of Construction & Design Technologies. Brad H. Lyon, assistant professor of civil engineering technology, brought his students to the equipment – housed within the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies – to experience the practical (and colorful) applications that it represents. The unit incorporates a 3D camera, sensor, projector and computer to reveal virtual contour lines that change accordingly when the sand is manipulated. “First-year surveying and civil engineering students in CET 126 (Topographic Mapping and Surveys) used AR technology in lab to construct land forms shown on a 2D map with sand in 3D,” Lyon said. “This technology helps students in understanding construction of topographical maps and use of contour lines to show the earth’s surface in three dimensions.”
Photos by J.J. Boettcher, student photographer

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