D190608 cook museum

Blake Russell, 6, left, and his grandmother Phillis Buckman “make it rain” while using the interactive HoloSands table at Cook Museum of Natural Science in June. The exhibit recently won a museum industry award. [DAN BUSEY/DECATUR DAILY]

Cook Museum of Natural Science, which opened June 7 in downtown Decatur, received the Gold Award for Technology in Gallery Installation recently at the Southeastern Museums Conference 2019 annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.

The award was given for the Cook Museum’s interactive kinetic sand table called HoloSands, which was designed and installed in the museum’s geology exhibit called Foundations.

Quiet Pixel developed the exhibit and wrote the software from scratch using the Unity 3-D game engine. A device detects the depth of the sand and then it tells the projector what to project in a certain area. This means you can dig down to the water table or build a mountain with a cauldron to create a volcano with flowing magma. The result is an interactive exhibit with open-ended free choice learning.

bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.

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