Chatham, ON – Union Gas presented a donation of $2,000 to the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) at 1 p.m. on October 16, at the LTVCA Administration Building in Chatham. This grant supports a Virtual Reality Sandbox, that will be used at the Chatham-Kent & Lambton Children’s Water Festival as well as at other public events.
Left to Right – Sean Collier, Union Gas District Manager Windsor Essex; Don Hector, Chatham-Kent & Lambton Children’s Water Festival Coordinator; Mark Peacock, General Manager/Secretary-Treasurer LTVCA; Chris Durand, IT/GIS Coordinator SCRCA; Greg VanEvery, Environmental Projects Coordinator LTVCA.
The Virtual Reality (VR) Sandbox exhibit has many three dimensional visualization applications that teach children about geography, geology and hydrology – in effect, all about the earth! People can use their hands to shape the sand into different landscapes, which are then reflected in real time with a coloured map depicting elevations, contour lines and imaginary lakes, rivers, ponds and wetlands. Users learn how to read a topographic map and understand the concepts of contour lines and watersheds right before their eyes! This model helps viewers understand the relationships between land elevations and watershed processes such as flooding and erosion.
The VR Sandbox consists of a raised sandbox table, camera, computer and projector. A unique software program does the rest! The unit is transportable and can be showcased at a variety of local public events and venues such as festivals, fairs, expos, libraries and other educational events. Its debut was at the 2018 International Plowing Match in the Conservation Authority tent where over 6,000 people tested it out with amazement! The creation of the AR Sandbox was financially supported by Union Gas, The Friends of the St. Clair River, Chatham-Kent and Lambton Children’s Water Festival, and the three Conservation Authorities – St. Clair Region, Essex Region and Lower Thames Valley.
Union Gas has been an ongoing supporter of the LTVCA, as well as SCRCA and ERCA investing in the education of our youth,” said Sean Collier, district manager Windsor Essex. “We support important educational programs in the communities we serve, helping our children learn about the importance of conservation and protection of our water.”