sandrific a Kimak project
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A Note for Educators

01.28.13 | Posted in Project Updates

Hello! We are so happy you found us. Are you using Sandrific in your field projects? Let us know! We would love to feature your class on the website. Here’s some information about Sandrific and how you can participate:

Our history

Sandrific is a small experimental art and science project with a big goal: to close the spaces between the physical and digital worlds.

The website began as a personal side project, and though it’s still managed by just me, it is built upon the generous sand and photography contributions from friends around the world. Using “we” and “our” better reflects this collaborative project.

Sandrific was created in 2008, and interactive maps have changed a lot since then. Online maps used to be extremely difficult to use, typically involving layers upon layers of data with cryptic legends that only made sense to data scientists.

In just a few years, map design became much more elegant, streamlined and user-friendly. Open source technology and application programming interfaces (APIs) enabled programmers to build mashups leading to creative projects such as Sandrific that display artistic or nontraditional map content. As maps became more widespread, interface design advanced as well. Today, beautiful maps are commonplace across the web.

Because mashups visualize data in unique ways, often through innovative user experiences, they give way to new learning possibilities.

What is STEAM?

Increasingly, as we talk about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, we end up with STEAM: STEM + art.

Scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians are actually much more creative than most people give them credit for. Any time you’re solving complex problems, you have to be. They just show it differently than, say, an artist; instead of visualizing an image or design, a scientist may conceptualize a formula or the steps to test a theory. A writer may work through the plot of a story in his head whereas a computer programmer may be writing software in hers.

Art and science converge in the brain more often than not, yet somehow we’ve come to believe in a strong division between the disciplines when they’re actually complementary. Strength in one area builds strength in the other. Add music to the mix, too – any activity that fosters creative thinking: imagination, conceptualization, visualization, critical analysis, curiosity, ideation, and communication?these all improve the learning of complex information.

Sandrific doesn’t assume to be anything more than it is: a map of sand. But some of us learn better by hands-on experiences and by doing. And though not everyone has the means or opportunities to travel, there is magic for everyone hidden in far away places. The world is much smaller than it appears; we hope to inspire you to explore further on your own.

Additional resources

Edutopia Titled STEM to STEAM: Art is Key to Building a Strong Economy

STEM Education Resource Center

Girls in IT: The Facts Infographic
National Center for Women & Information Technology

STEM to STEAM Initiative – Rhode Island School of Design

Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

The National Science Board

Is this website safe for kids?

Sandrific is a safe place on the web for people of all ages. Because our photos and content are curated, not crowdsourced, the website maintains a consistent voice and relevant content. We try to offer a Wikipedia-like experience and hope that you enjoy spending time here. Please stay as long as you like.

What kind of content can we send you?

Sandrific accepts photos, video, essays, and other media. You may submit content via postal mail (we can scan and digitize), email, or we can grant access to our Dropbox account to upload files.

What are some project ideas?

A great classroom example is the Croatan High School project – check out their Emerald Isle photo series and read more about how their students participated.

By sharing material on Sandrific, you and your students become digital content creators. You also get bragging rights in knowing that you are helping build and grow a resource for others to enjoy. In return, we’ll give you props on the website, and lots of love through our social media channels.

How do we prepare our sand sample?

A small handful, 2-3 ounces, for your sample is plenty. Ziploc baggies work great, preferably sent in a bubble-pack mailer to prevent punctures. If possible (though not necessary), snap a photo of the location with a newer digital camera that captures EXIF data as this will give the coordinates. If you require, we can reimburse postage with a Starbucks or Amazon gift card. Email us for the mailing address.

How long will it take to add our sand?

Sandrific is made by hand and grows slower than others. It takes time to compile each map point: photographing and cataloging the sand sample, gathering and color-correcting photos, fact-checking sources, writing location summaries, and geocoding the data. Allow a few weeks from the time your sand is received before it is added to the map.

What about copyrights and photographer credits?

Material used on this website remains the copyright of the original creators and we seek permission for every photo we use. Many of the photos we display are licensed by their creators under Creative Commons, but it is up to each photographer to designate the appropriate restrictions.

As an educator, please obtain permission on behalf of your students and indicate that we have permission to publish their photos with attribution. An email confirmation must accompany any photography or materials submitted from adults.

How is this website funded?

Sandrific is a self-funded project: there are no sponsors, advertisers or grantors. It represents hundreds of hours of donated time and effort.

Who can I contact for more information?

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions, suggestions, and ideas. If you’d like help brainstorming projects we can connect you with an education ambassador.

Betsy Kimak

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