INCLINE VILLAGE, Nevada -- Sandboxes aren’t just for playgrounds. A new, interactive exhibit brings watersheds to life at UC Davis’ Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village, Nevada.

Participants of the “Shaping Watersheds Interactive Sandbox” exhibit can run their hands through real sand to form mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers, while a 3D camera and projector allow users to create virtual topography in real time and make it rain to see how water flows.

The exhibit shows, in living color, how water moves and interacts with the landscape to create watersheds.

The sandbox exhibit can demonstrate concepts that affect water-quality management, geology and hydrology, such as flood control, dam construction and stormwater runoff.

"Some of the issues that concern Lake Tahoe -- like the idea of urban water moving quickly over roads, picking up sediments and entering the lake -- can be demonstrated with this," said TERC education and outreach director Heather Segale in a press release.

The UC Davis’ Tahoe Science Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. year-round and on summer Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Video courtesy of UC Davis