A big thanks to the US Forest Service for bringing CaveSim to this fun event for the first time! We were told that CaveSim was "the biggest hit of the event."
Above: learning Single Rope Techniques (the Frog system!) with help from cavers Kevin Manley and Jen Foote.
Below: Father and daughter pass the cave bacon (drapery formations) inside of CaveSim. Photos by Get Outdoors Day staff.
This was our second year working with these great students, and they had an incredible time doing a cool electronics lab -- they learned soldering, basic circuits, product design, and much more to create their waterproof flashlights.
We were honored to be invited back to the Academy for the third time! As always, the kids loved the cave, but they also loved our new rappelling and ascending tower. Here are some pictures that parents shared with us:
Natalie and her little sister both loved the cave. Natalie's shirt sums up why we do so many cave conservation education events: "The Future is us!" Natalie also got to try the Frog System. She said that she's afraid of heights, but she had no trouble going to the top of the 12' tower.
Left: Dave gets Ian started with the Frog System. Right: Ian at the top of the tower.
We were honored to be invited back to Cresson Days for the fourth year in a row! What a great way for kids to spend the last day of the school year.
Visitors loved this awesome free event at SMO! Thank you to SMO for making this event possible.
The Hall family having a great time exploring CaveSim. Photos by Amy Hall.
This was our second year doing programs for students in the Grove Public School District. This year, we expanded our program beyond Elementary School and we worked with older students as well. A huge thanks to caver and teacher Deitra Biely for making this program happen!
Dave at home preparing Petri dishes with agar for our high school biology lab about cave biota. During the lab at Grove High School, a student asked his teacher, "Why can't we do this kind of thing in biology class?" to which Dave replied, "This IS biology class!" Student: "Oh, right!" Photo by Tracy Jackson.
Left: Dave and Pat demonstrate rappelling and ascending on the new tower. Right: caver Brent Biely having fun in the squeezebox during the after-school program. Photos: Paul Schwotzer.
Left: High school biology students explore CaveSim and look for cave biota. Right: Dave teaching knots. Photos by Paul Schwotzer.
High school students learn Single Rope Techniques (ascending) on our new tower. These students volunteered with us later in the week by teaching the 3rd graders all about bats. Photos by Paul Schwotzer.
About 54 fifth graders had an incredible time learning all about caves, science, engineering, teamwork, and more at six different stations during this four-hour program. We had incredible help from five parent volunteers and two CaveSim educators (great job teaching geology, Tracy and Paul!)
Colorado College is Tracy's alma mater and the site of our first CaveSim school program back in 2010. We had great turnout and awesome weather for this fun free public event.
Tracy, holding vertical caving gear, and Bob Colloply (former student of Dick Blenz, our biggest supporter)
We had strong turnout for Spring Break Vertical Caving Camp in the CaveSim system at CityROCK Climbing Gym in Colorado Springs. The Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper came and took some great pictures of our participants learning to ascend in the 40' vertical cave.
While ascending 40', Merrick waves through a window from the vertical cave to the children's playroom. Photo by Mark Reis, The Colorado Springs Gazette.
In addition to bringing CaveSim to this school-wide event, Dave was the keynote speaker and spoke from personal experience about caves, science, engineering, and cave rescue. CaveSim was hugely popular, with families staying beyond the end of the event so that they could try exploring the cave.
Students learn about the similarities and differences between bat and human skeletal structures. Photos by Lake George staff. Student photo permissions on file with school.
A student about to enter CaveSim. Watch out for those speleothems!
Students adjust the squeezebox, which teaches measurement science and shows the students their personal limits (it's like the limbo, but for caving!)
Dave teaching cave science (speleology) while students wait in line to use CaveSim.
Dave calls on students during the keynote speech.
We had fantastic turnout at this great Patriot Elementary School STEM event for the second year in a row! Even the teachers and staff had fun:
Photo by Cara Greene, Patriot Elementary School STEM Coordinator.
What an incredible program! Students in grades 6-8 learned basic circuits, programmed microcontrollers, and built cave-proof electronics projects. They got to test their projects in a giant bucket of muddy cave water, and then bring the projects down to CityROCK to try them in the CaveSim system there. Not only that, but each student got to rappel into the cave, and everyone got a behind-the-scenes tour of the system and the associated electronics.
Learning soldering (left) and "Look at what I built! It works!" All photos in this post by CSS staff.
Left: Dave helps a student debug his circuit. Right: Building a circuit with a computer chip!
Left: Students work on their circuits. They also learned computer programming by writing code for their computer chips. Center: caver Patricia Malone helps a student. Right: Learning to use power tools to drill holes in a container for a waterproof flashlight.
Left: Reviewing a design by talking with Dave. Right: Circuits are for girls!
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We had great turnout for our third visit to Kartchner Caverns in Arizona. Check out our event flier to see all of the activities we did. A huge thank-you to cavers Teresa and Hanna for helping.
A caver from one of the Tucson grottos explores CaveSim. Photo: Dave Jackson
A caver from Tucson takes pictures of her friend, shown on the CaveSim night vision cameras. Photo: Dave Jackson.