While visiting the Lee County Conservation Center in Heron Bend, Lee County, Iowa, I came upon a really cool and fun tool to learn topography. The US Geological Survey calls this tool an “augmented reality sandbox”, and the model at the Lee County Conservation Center was obtained from Idea Fab Labs. Their tool uses a 3D camera, a digital projector, and software that gauges depth and superimposes contour lines on shapes in sandboxes. The tool also allows you to create “rain” by waving your hand on top of the sand so you can see the way watersheds work. I wish I had had access to one of these when I was a kid!