Middle School Programs
Brought right to your campus
Learning disguised as fun
If you’re the kind of teacher who inspires students to love learning, CaveSim programs are for you. We provide the perfect mix of valuable educational content and fun, led by staff who truly understand the middle school experience. 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 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.
Recent middle school programs
Choose your focus area
Even without adding any of our in-class labs to your program, we can focus our activities on the subjects that students are learning in your class. Choose one or more focus areas from the list below and we’ll emphasize those focus areas during our program.
Many species live in caves, from bats to bacteria. Using a real bat skeleton and guano, we teach students about the adaptations bats and salamanders have for living in caves. Students learn how extremophile bacteria help to form caves. As students explore CaveSim, computers score their ability to avoid artificial bats, salamanders, and cave formations. Students gain an understanding of the cave food web, and how energy is transferred to and from above-ground food webs.
Caves are important in daily life. We use cave minerals in toothpaste, walls, and even food. Through hands-on lessons, students learn about cave minerals on an atomic level, and about forces that alter rock, including chemical and physical weathering. Students learn about the role that sinkholes and other karst features play in our water supply. By exploring the highly-realistic mobile cave, students get hands-on experience investigating cave geology.
There’s no better way to learn the physics of simple machines than being lifted up a 12 foot tower in a harness. Students learn about friction, forces, trigonometry, and mechanical design. Advanced students can learn about vectors and elastic vs. inelastic collisions.
We created CaveSim, including the software and electronics, and we love sharing the fun of engineering. Students go hands-on with cave rescue phones to learn about electromagnetics, and we teach waves and energy with homemade speakers. We also offer STEM labs for various ability levels.
The oldest art is found in caves, making caves an ideal place to study the origins of art. While exploring the mobile cave, students look for cave paintings and pottery. After exiting, students are asked to interpret what they saw. Students also learn about art preservation, and can even do hands-on art activities.
PE teachers love CaveSim because we bridge PE and other subjects. Students learn core content while being physically active, and kids who have trouble focusing often excel during CaveSim programs. Our cave rescue stretcher helps students learn about teamwork and coordinated motion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional resources for middle schools
Browse the tabs below to get answers to all of your questions
Here are some of the other schools that we’ve worked with around the country: