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Atlas Preparatory School REACH Beyond summer program

29 5th-7th grade students explored CaveSim today from 11:45AM-1:45PM, and enjoyed bat games, carbide demonstrations, and practiced their cave rescue skills.  Many Atlas Prep students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, so our program was completely free, thanks to donations from Barbara Bentzin, Bob Montomery, and Dick Blenz.

Colorado Springs School REACH summer program

As you can see on the Colorado Springs School website, “The Mission of REACH is to provide middle school students who typically don’t have access to a college preparatory experience with a challenging summer program emphasizing 21st-century learning that will increase their ability to enter and succeed in college.”
For fourth year in a row, REACH students explored CaveSim, learned about many STEM concepts (hands-on electronics demos, carbide demos, measuring and using the squeezebox, bat biology, speleology, teamwork, etc.) all while having a great time from 9:30-11:30AM.
Dave shows a student how to adjust his helmet before exploring CaveSim. Photo by Rachel Sagahon.
 
Almost to the surface again, and having a great time. “Can I go through again?” Photo by Rachel Sagahon.
 
Students carry a classmate in the cave rescue stretcher (Sked). A big thanks to Joe Kirkendall (at left) for running many of the stations at today’s event. Photo by Rachel Sagahon.
 
Getting ready to try the CaveSim squeezebox set at 6.25″. Yes, she did make it through. Photo by Rachel Sagahon.

Falcon Middle School 6th grade

120 6th grade students explored CaveSim, learned geology from caver Jesse Rochette, practiced cave rescue with our Sked, learned electronics with our cave rescue phones (and an HP oscilloscope!), and played in the squeezebox.  A huge thank-you to Pat Malone for helping kids put on helmets and knee pads, and another huge thank-you to Margaret Browne, 6th grade teacher, for helping us set up and for working with us throughout the day.

Students getting suited up to explore CaveSim.  Photo by Dave Jackson.

Many things happen at once at CaveSim. At left, several boys watch the computer monitors to see how well their classmates are doing in the cave (the monitors show “damage” points for each cave formation, and also show live night-vision camera feeds of the inside of the cave).  At right, students use the squeezebox to see how tight a space they can fit through.  Photo by Dave Jackson.

Orientation to Cave Rescue, El Paso County SAR

About 50 cavers, SAR personnel, firefighters and others converged on the El Paso County SAR facility for an Orientation to Cave Rescue (OCR).  This two-day course was organized by the Colorado Cave Rescue Network (CCRN), with instruction provided by CCRN and National Cave Rescue Commission instructors.  The course had three parts: lectures, hands-on practice above ground, and a mock rescue in a real cave.  CaveSim was used during the hands-on practice to give participants a sense of what real caving is like.  This gave participants the chance to learn just how fragile the cave environment is prior to entering a real cave for the mock rescue.  Some participants had never been in a cave before, and learned a lot about what kind of gear is appropriate for the cave environment.

Above, participants practice packaging a patient in a Sked stretcher. Below, the CaveSim trailer fit well in the El Paso County Search and Rescue building. We had a late snowstorm which explains the water below the trailer.  Photos by Dave Jackson.

 

US Air Force Academy Youth Center

What a great way to spend Spring Break!  50 children (and some teachers and parents) explored CaveSim during our second trip to the US Air Force Academy Youth Center. A huge thank-you to Mr. Dick Blenz for sponsoring this event!

All three of these USAFA Youth Center staff members (including Kyla, center, who arranged our visit) had a great time exploring CaveSim. Photo by Dave Jackson.

STEM Night, Patriot Elementary School, Fort Carson Army Base

This great event on Fort Carson kept us very busy with CaveSim — over 700 people attended, and several hundred went through CaveSim in just 1.5 hours!

A soldier explores CaveSim during the Patriot Elementary STEM night on Fort Carson. Photo by Tracy Jackson.

Legacy Academy 5th grade program

About 46 5th grade students (and their teachers!) explored CaveSim at Legacy Academy in Elizabeth, CO during a 3 hour program.  The students did hands-on geology lessons, role-played the lives of bats, practiced cave rescue with a real stretcher, and helped with carbide lamp demonstrations.  The students are studying ecosystems, so they enjoyed discovering and talking about all of the (artificial) cave life that we have inside CaveSim.

Texas Cavers’ Reunion, San Antonio, TX

We had a crowd of cavers exploring CaveSim and competing for most-careful-caver for two days at TCR 2015.  Photo by Dave Jackson.

TCR is an event not to miss!  If you didn’t make it this year, come on down to the San Antonio area next year for this great multi-day event.

 CoolScience Carnival Day at UCCS

For the fifth year in a row, CaveSim attended this very popular free public event.  If you missed us this year, look for us next year here near the West Lawn at UCCS.

Dave traded his cowboy hat for a helmet at the CoolScience Carnival at UCCS. Photo by Jackson Fulcher.

 

Adam’s birthday party

Adam and his friends had a great time celebrating his eighth birthday at CaveSim.

A Taste of Lone Tree at Lincoln Commons

Several thousand people showed up for this public event (tickets required) in Lone Tree (south Denver) from 1-7PM.  CaveSim was very popular and we kept busy all day.  There was great food, drink, and vendors, too.

       

Left: A girl explores CaveSim with one of our new lights donated by ElSpeleo. Right: Boys watching carefully to make sure they don’t hit the formations. Photos by Erik Mattson.

Kids learning about cave paintings from Dave. Photo by Erik Mattson

STEM Rocks event at Peterson AFB, 8/29/2015, 10AM-2PM

Thank you to Challenger Learning Center Colorado Springs for inviting us to participate in this event for children of Air Force service members.  CaveSim was so popular that people waited an hour to go through, and some waited another hour to go through again.  Visitors waiting in line learned all about caves, watched carbide demos, and saw our new rope work demo from 10AM-2PM.  About 1700 people attended the event.

   

Kids get ready to carry the sked (a type of rescue stretcher) (above left), and Dave doing a carbide demonstration on a piece of slate (above right). Photos: Hans Hofmann.

   

Dave demonstrates the awesome lights donated by El Speleo (above left), and Dave doing a prusik lesson (above right). A prusik is a type of knot used by cavers to ascend a rope. Learn more about prusiks here. Photos: Hans Hofmann.