High School Programs

Brought right to your campus

Learning embedded in fun

If you’re the kind of teacher who inspires students to love learning, CaveSim programs are for you. These are advanced programs that focus on the specific subject that you teach, brought to you by expert instructors. Because the programs are so engaging and fun, students actually forget that they’re still in class. And because we know that you’re also an expert, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to share your insights and tie to your curriculum during our program. Partner with us to open your students eyes about the joy of learning.

A high school student learns the physics of vertical caving in Grove, OK
a cave brought to my school?

How does it work?

Our expert staff bring a 26′ trailer to your school with an incredible cave inside. Computer scoring makes the cave extra fun – as students explore, they get a score based on how careful they are to not touch the stalactites. The cave trailer is just one of numerous stations. We also set up an impressive vertical caving tower, a cave rescue stretcher, bat biology lessons, and other hands-on activities. Your students rotate through these stations, learning and having fun at each activity. We work with you to make sure that our program covers the content that you care most about.

"Had a blast"
We really had a blast when CaveSim visited us, and we hope to have it back!

Elise Gonzalez, Biology Teacher, Austin HS, TX

"an... experience that my students talk about for weeks!"
Dave and his crew have come into my wilderness first aid class to demonstrate patient evacuation several times. Each time they have presented an informative, interactive, hands-on experience that my students talk about for weeks! And students have the opportunity to play both rescuer and rescuee, which helps build their wilderness first aid skills. Thank you Dave, and we look forward to next time!

Janny Jarvis, CTE teacher, Tesla Education Opportunity School, Colorado Springs

"This is biology class"
HS biology student, while working on a CaveSim lab: "Mrs. Chaney [AP biology teacher], why don't we get to do this kind of stuff in biology class?"

CaveSim instructor: "This is biology class."

Student: "Oh, right."

Actual quotes from a program at Grove HS, Grove, Oklahoma

Recent high school programs

Choose your focus area

If you’re looking to ensure that specific topics or standards are addressed, we’ll bring you a program that’s closely aligned with what you’re currently teaching. Below are just a few examples of our focused programs. When you book, just tell us what areas you’d like us to focus on, or ask for the standard program (some of every area).

Biology

Caves provide excellent context for learning both macro- and microbiology. Students learn about bacteria that use an enzyme to digest limestone, and about the role that extremophiles play in the growth of cave formations. We also use a real bat skeleton and real guano to teach students about adaptations, skeletal morphology, and bat epidemiology. Consider adding Biology Lab and Epidemiology Lab to your program.

Chemistry

Students get hands-on experience with exothermic and acid/base reactions via several carbide lamp demos. We also use a digital balance to demonstrate conservation of matter and limiting reactants with a lab-grade carbide lamp. Geochemistry demos with dilute HCl acid are also included, and cover reversible reactions.

PhysicS

Caving relies on physics, from mechanics in vertical exploration to electromagnetics in ground-penetrating radio. Students use pulley systems on a 12 foot tower, and slice a climbing rope with string, demonstrating the power of friction. Lessons with rescue phones and electronic test equipment (e.g., oscilloscopes) teach electromagnetics. Demos with waterproof speakers show students standing waves and energy conversion.

Engineering

Students get to design and build mechanical systems to absorb energy associated with a collision. We use our 12 foot tower to rapidly lower water buckets onto a thin board, and students use their mechanical systems to protect the board from cracking. Our Waterproof Flashlight Lab is also very popular.

career & technical education

Our programs are a beneficial addition to a variety of CTE programs, including EMT/SAR classes (our staff includes cave rescue personnel), recreation and park ranger cadet programs, and technology classes. Because the MIT-educated inventor of CaveSim leads our programs, students have the opportunity to learn from an entrepreneurial engineer.

history and art

Caves offer valuable lessons in both history and art. They contain the earliest art, offering a glimpse into how our ancestors thought and lived. The development of written language is rooted in symbols found in caves around the globe. In recent times, caves played crucial roles in US history. Our staff share insights that help your students see connections between classroom learning and the world.

Add a lab to your program

Standard programs can be enhanced by adding our labs, which provide an in-depth educational experience in a specific subject, like biology or engineering.  We never use kits because our goal is to teach students that engineering and science are accessible to them without the use of pre-prepared materials.  We emphasize conservation by using recycled materials in our engineering labs.

Biology Lab

Slime mold is found is some caves. In this lab, students culture slime mold in Petri dishes and choose from several experiments. They learn that single-celled organisms can demonstrate forms of intelligence and memory. Students learn about connections between biology and computer science.

  • Topics: pro/eukaryotic, 7 kingdoms of life, experiment design, extremophiles
  • 1 class at a time (~25 students)
  • 55+ minutes per group
  • Starting at $8/student
Epidemiology Lab

Over 7 millions have died in the US since 2010 from the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus, which causes a disease called White Nose Syndrome (WNS). Through a hands-on game with fluorescent dye or powder, students model the spread of WNS and learn about epidemiology.

  • Topics: stochastic processes, immunology, epidemiology, exponential functions
  • 1 class at a time (~25 students)
  • 20-30 minutes per group
  • Starting at $1.90/student
WaterProof Flashlight Lab

Students create caving lights from scratch. They make an LED circuit from simple components, and get soldering experience with 1:1 instruction. Students design and make a flashlight case from recyclable materials, test their work to see if their lights are waterproof, and revise their designs as needed.

  • Topics: engineering, entrepreneurship, circuit theory, material science
  • 1 class at a time (~25 students)
  • 60-90 minutes per group (can be split into 2 days)
  • Starting at $8/student
Cave Formation lab

Students make their own cave formations (stalactites, stalagmites, cave popcorn) using household materials. Students work in teams of 2-3 and conduct several experiments, making predictions about each.

  • Topics: hydrology, geology & geochemistry, states of matter, and conservation
  • Up to 2 classes at a time (max 50 students)
  • 20-30 minutes per group
  • Starting at $2.75/student
Geology Lab

Students make their own karst topography (cave landforms) using household materials. After creating cave strata in a cup, students add water to their model and watch as a sinkhole forms in real time.

  • Topics: hydrology, geology, environmental engineering, conservation
  • Up to 2 classes at a time (max 50 students)
  • 20-30 minutes per group
  • Starting at $2.95/student
Waves & Energy Lab

After an activity with real cave rescue phones, students make their own version using cups and string. Students conduct several experiments with their phones and record their observations.

  • Topics: waves, energy, electromagnetics, graphing, calculus (Fourier series)
  • Up to 2 classes at a time (max 50 students)
  • 30-40 minutes per group
  • Starting at $1.95/student

Additional resources for high schools​

Browse the tabs below to get answers to all of your questions

Choose your state to see how CaveSim high school programs align with your standards.

Don’t see your state? Don’t worry! We do programs in all lower 48 states. Contact us for more info.

It’s easy to have CaveSim come to your school.  Just pick a location on campus that you think will work and tell us where to set up.  Use the info below to help you pick a good location.

Typically 30-150 students per day.  For over 150 students, we do multi-day programs. We also recommend a multi-day program if you would like us to include labs.

We usually teach full-day programs. Students participate in groups (typically 1-2 classes at a time). Each group participates for about 60-90 minutes, depending on your learning and schedule needs. For smaller schools, we can do as much as three hours of teaching with one group.

Yes, absolutely. Some of our best programs have been at high schools. We tailor the program to align closely with what you’re teaching.

We align our program closely with what you are teaching. Our program covers biology (macro and micro), chemistry, physics (mechanics and electromagnetics), physical education, geology, statistics and epidemiology, art and art history, and US history. Please talk with us about the subjects that you would like us to cover.

We usually teach most of the program outside (with the lab portion inside). In bad weather, many of our activities can be set up inside. The cave always stays in the trailer, and we put up tents to shelter the students. In very severe weather (heavy rain, high winds), we will close the cave and do all of our activities inside. The cave does have heat and AC. See our setup info sheet for more details.

The cave was originally built as a rescue training device for firefighters. Most high school students will have no trouble going through the cave. For physically larger students, the cave contains accommodations, including several emergency exits. The program contains many different activities, so students who do not feel comfortable doing the cave can participate in many other activities. We teach the Challenge By Choice philosophy.

Yes, it has both, and they work quite well.

Click “Ask us a question” and ask away! We’re always here to help.

Check out our calendar to see when we’re available, then contact us to book your program.

Our permission slips are available at cavesim.wpengine.com/schools/waivers. If you have questions or concerns, please let us know.

Different schools fund our program using different approaches, so we’ve compiled a list of ideas and resources to help you.

Booking request

Use the form below, or contact us by phoneemail, or text.

  • This information helps us coordinate our trip to your school.