Category Archives: Technology

DIY Lake Science Now Available on the Apple App Store

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can now download the Lawrence Hall of Science’s latest app, DIY Lake Science! It’s a free app, and it allows families and classrooms to explore lake science using hands-on demonstrations, videos, and a simulated lake.

DIY Lake Science Lawrence Hall of Science Page

Press Kit

Continue reading DIY Lake Science Now Available on the Apple App Store

Preparing for sandbox launch at the Hall

The Lawrence Hall of Science (“the Hall”) staff has been busily preparing its Shaping Watersheds exhibit for prime time. The Hall shop staff did a wonderful job customizing and adding key modifications: re-locating the ‘Drain’ button for improved ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access, adding a transparent lid and new frame to enable two modes of use (facilitated and unfacilitated), and adding a USB port in the former location of the original drain switch. The USB port allows a keyboard to be connected to access the computer within the cabinetry.

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A modified version of the ‘Shaping Watersheds’ exhibit is installed at the Lawrence Hall of Science. The modifications include improved ADA access and a removable, facilitation-flexible lid. A small stepping stool (seen in bottom left) allows little visitors to access the sandbox bin.

Continue reading Preparing for sandbox launch at the Hall

Augmented Reality Sandbox Images Now in NSF Multimedia Gallery

There are 19 images in the series:  each image has a detailed description for what aspect of the sandbox experience the user is viewing .   The first image can be found here: http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/mmg_disp.jsp?med_id=75573&from=mmg  

To view the rest of the images either click on the next image (the link to the next image can usually be found at the end of the 2nd or 3rd paragraph in the current image’s description).  Or, search for Augmented Reality Sandbox in the gallery’s search: http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/mmg_search.jsp

3D Camera Technology and Filming Tahoe

3D works best for scenes that show depth, action, and a sense of awe. Flying between mountains, skimming the surface of the lake, or going deep underwater are the quintessential 3D shots. Shooting these aerial scenes used to require a crazy and highly skilled camera person with an equally crazy, skilled pilot. But given the demand for 3D video, it’s no surprise that inventive people created gadgets where once dangerous shots can now be safely taken with remote controlled hexacopters.

For our new 3D movie about Lake Tahoe, we’re able to collaborate with people who can get these beautiful, dynamic shots.  The next 3D experience at TERC will feature Tahoe underwater.  As our own Heather Segale noted in her article for Lake Tahoe News, we’ll still use tried and true divers to get many underwater shots.  Brant Allen and Katie Webb will dive into Tahoe with 3D cameras (generously donated by Go Pro) this spring to give viewers a unique look into Lake Tahoe’s depths.  They will be guided by Steve Andersen, a 3D movie specialist based out of Tahoe.  He created a weighted 3D camera that can sit in a shallow stream and film Kokanee salmon as they swim past. This simple device doesn’t compare, though, to his other wickedly cool 3D camera gadgets that can get beautiful aerial shots without risking life and limb (pictured below).  He attended our winter meeting at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center in Incline Village, NV, to show them off!  We were all very impressed with his creative solutions and ability to get the perfect shot.  We look forward to working with our collaborators and hope we can create a fantastic experience for the visitors to TERC.

IMG_3845Above:  Steve shows off an interchangeable camera stabilizer for his hexacopter (on the right).  The hexacopter can fly for up to 10 minutes on a charge and take breathtaking aerial 3D movies without putting life and limb in danger. (On the left, below Steve’s elbow, you can see the weighted underwater camera.)

Below:  Steve shows off cameras that are ideal for shooting 3D time lapses.
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