How much cave education can you fit in four hours? A lot, as 37 teachers learned today at CaveSim and Cave of the Winds. The teachers took special trips through CaveSim, did hands-on cave science activities at several stations with Tracy, and took custom cave tours at Cave of the Winds led by Dave and Tracy. We did the program for the Peak Area Leadership in Science group, which lets teachers earn continuing education credit. A huge thanks to them for including us in their program.
Highlights of the CaveSim portion of the program included cave survey work for a few teachers, along with searches by other teachers for archaeological artifacts and ecological evidence within CaveSim (thanks to Tracy for getting the terracotta jug). In the process, the teachers learned about lampshade spiders, Golondrinas swallows, micro-habitats, corrosion residue, and a host of other speleological topics.
At Tracy’s science stations, the teachers created miniature sinkholes. They grew cave formations, and they worked at mineral identification.
After the CaveSim and science station work, we went to Cave of the Winds to explore a real cave on trips led by Dave and Tracy (thanks to Cave of the WInds for allowing us to be tour guides for the day!) The teachers built on what they learned earlier by seeing real beaded helictites, corrosion residue, joint-controlled cave systems, shields, and more. Some of the teachers even got to see lampshade spider webs.
If you’re a teacher or if you’re interested in our cave education programs, check out our new programs brochure. We love using CaveSim to teach kids about a wide variety of subjects (almost every subject you can think of ties into CaveSim: science, technology, engineering, math, archaeology, history, geology, biology, ecology, chemistry, art, and even physical education).