The Sandbox Children’s Museum in Hilton Head, South Carolina had been dreaming for years of opening a beautiful new facility near the island’s main beach. Hurricanes and a global pandemic tried hard to prevent it, but in March 2022 the museum opened to island visitors!
The first exhibit children see as they enter the museum is our newly designed HoloSands sandbox. It has a built in step on one side so that young children can easily reach the sand. The red accent pieces and warm wood were chosen to match other color schemes in the museum.
The near end of the sandbox is wide enough and high enough to accommodate wheelchair access, while the top surface is low enough to satisfy ADA requirements.
Locating the projector and sensor in this facility was tricky, because the high A-frame roof is almost 50 feet above the floor. The wall in the exhibit area worked perfectly as a solid mounting surface for a support arm, and the top of the wall allowed us to mount the speakers and hide the computer and audio amplifier out of view.
The museum asked us to create a special biome for them showcasing the unique features of their part of the Carolina Lowcountry:
- White sand beaches
- Low-lying tidal marshes with visible waterways
- Rise and fall of the ocean due to daily tides
- Pine and Live Oak forests at the “higher elevations”
- And the impact of hurricanes on the island
When a visitor holds a rain circle over the Lowcountry biome, we spawn a hurricane and allow them to control its movement. As the hurricane passes, it knocks down trees, floods marsh lands, and disrupts sand beaches. After the hurricane passes, the biome slowly repairs itself: trees begin to grow back, marshes drain and repair themselves, and the beaches return to their normal pristine state.
The biome is also filled with the sound of local birds:
- Brown-headed Nuthatches
- Acadian Flycatchers