Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 2, 2012.

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The world's only electronic cave obstacle course. Help put CaveSim and cave education on the road. Get cool cave formations!

Goal reminder: 

Our Kickstarter goal is $1900, but here's what we're really hoping for: $6000.  Why?  To buy an enclosed trailer so that we can take CaveSim to many future events to teach people around the country about cave conservation.  We'll permanently install CaveSim into the trailer so that we can just roll CaveSim up to events and spend our time teaching people about caves, instead of spending hours doing setup and takedown.  Currently, we have to say no to most one-day events because our setup time is literally 8 hours.  With your help, we can reduce our setup time to a few minutes and do many more free events.  Thousands more people will learn about the importance of protecting real caves.  Thanks for your support!

Help us move a cave:

Help us move a cave.  "Move a cave?!?!" you say.  Yes, move a cave.  Watch our fun and informative video to learn more, or just keep reading.

CaveSim is a crawl-through cave obstacle course with sensors that detect when the artificial cave formations inside are bumped.  We built everything from scratch: the 50 feet of winding cave passage, all the electronics, software, and artificial cave formations.  We've already had over 1000 visitors crawl through CaveSim: cavers, kids learning about conservation, search and rescue personnel, and regular folks who’ve never been in a real cave.

Above: Kids watch for a fellow caver inside CaveSim. Photo: Bruce Hutchison.

"So where do I come in?"  CaveSim is big and heavy, and we need to move it so that many more people can practice careful caving. We need your help to move CaveSim from Colorado to West Virginia so that thousands more can crawl through at the National Speleological Society Convention, June 25-29, 2012.  It would be really fun to gather hundreds of volunteers to walk across the country carrying pieces of the cave simulator, but since we can't do that, we're asking you to help us rent a moving truck and buy fuel. 

Our Kickstarter goal is $1900, but here's what we're really hoping for: $6000.  Why?  To buy an enclosed trailer so that we can take CaveSim to many future events to teach people around the country about cave conservation.

"What happens if you don't meet your second goal of $6000?"  Very bad stuff.  We we'll have to say "No" to lots of requests to do free cave-education and training events.  So we need your help.  Thanks!

"If I pledge, how do I know that my credit card info is safe?"  Amazon.com takes care of all financial info -- we never see your credit card information.

Get out your 3D glasses! A 3D photo by Dave Bunnell of a caver exiting CaveSim during the 2011 NSS Convention.

“I don’t know anything about this Caving Convention.  Why should I help you with your crazy project?”  Because we’re busting our butts to teach people about protecting some of the most delicate and mind-bending environments on earth – caves.  Exploring caves is like exploring other worlds, but careless caving can destroy in an instant formations that take 1000 years to grow a cubic inch.  We need your help to bring CaveSim to more people!

Above: Dave teaching kids about caves. Photo by Bruce Hutchison.

“I’m not convinced that I should care about preserving caves.”  Do you like clean drinking water?  Much of the water that we drink travels through caves.  People who don’t understand caves dump trash into caves and allow chemicals to get into caves, making your drinking water toxic.  So, are you ready to help us teach people about protecting caves?

Above: Awesome volunteers help us bring CaveSim to lots of free public events. Photo by Tracy Jackson.

"What does my money support?"  We will use the money that we receive to:

  • Buy an enclosed trailer to take CaveSim to many free events.
  • Buy fuel for our epic journey to and from the 2012 NSS Convention.
  • Buy the awesome rewards that we send to you.
  • Kickstarter and Amazon each take a small cut for hosting this campaign (and doing a great job, too!)

"How can I learn more about this Caving Convention?"  Great question!  Visit http://nss2012.com/

Above: Kids enjoying CaveSim at CoolScience 2011. Photos by Phil Barnett.

"Who are you guys?"  We are Dave and Tracy Jackson.  We’re both cavers, members of the National Speleological Society, and we both have day jobs – we build cave simulators in our copious free time.  Dave is an electrical engineer who designs integrated circuits for Agilent, and Tracy is the director of education at Catamount Institute.  Dave has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and he learned carpentry from his dad.  Tracy is a geology major from the University of Georgia, and she has a Masters in Teaching from Colorado College.

Above: Dave and Tracy caving in Huccacove Cave

Above: Peter and Ann Bosted taking 3D photos of CaveSim at the 2011 NSS Convention. Photo by Tracy Jackson.

"How can I contact you to learn more?"  Thanks for asking.  Visit www.CaveSim.com and look for "Contact Dave Jackson."  Thanks for supporting us!

FAQ

83
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$5,652
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    4 backers

    You rock! Get a thank-you shout-out on CaveSim.com, and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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    13 backers

    Get an awesome CaveSim sticker with our handwritten thanks on the back, plus the first reward. Every car, waterbottle, and caving helmet needs one of these. Made of high-quality plastic.

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    5 backers

    What caver wouldn't want a custom CaveSim bat stamp? Get a high-quality rubber stamp designed by us and made in the USA, plus a handwritten thank you note, plus the first reward.

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    13 backers

    You provide the body, we provide the t-shirt. Get a CaveSim t-shirt made in the USA in your size, plus the first reward.

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    7 backers

    Your only chance to write on the walls of a cave without fear of reprisals (plus, you get a CaveSim t-shirt). You have lots of options: (1) Sign the outside of CaveSim at the 2012 NSS Convention in Lewisburg, WV, or (2) Sign a photo of yourself and use our self-addressed stamped envelope to send it to us so that we can permanently afix it to CaveSim, or (3) Hand us your signed photo at the NSS Convention. PG-13 photos/signatures only, please.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    11 backers

    Get your own cave formation! At CaveSim, we're experts in making artificial cave formations, and we'll send you one in a color of your choosing (crystal clear, pure white, or cave-tan). Includes a lanyard for hanging as an ornament. Every caver's rearview mirror needs one of these. Or, you can be upscale and hang cave formations on your Christmas tree. Remember, no real speleothems were even touched in the making of our formations.

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    2 backers

    Grotto reward #1: We'll send your grotto (aka caving club) a handmade, laser-engraved plaque for everyone in your grotto to sign. You can send the plaque back to us and we'll permanently afix it to the outside of CaveSim (or you can keep the plaque all to yourselves).

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    0 backers

    Great for individuals or grottos: Turn ordinary tables into caves with our magnetic cave formations. Place our super-strong magnets on top of your table, hang the formations underneath the table using the magic of magnetism, throw a sheet over the table, and you have a cave. Set of four formations, plus a fact sheet with awesome info about caves and bats. Great for teaching kids.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Great for Colorado individuals, grottos, and families: Bring 30 of your closest friends (only $10 per person!) to the CaveSim garage in Manitou Springs, CO for 2-3 hours of caving, fun and games. A great substitute for a regular grotto meeting. Best kids birthday party ever! Includes trips through CaveSim for everyone in your group, plus cave-related games and educational activities led by our award-winning outdoor educator. We provide all the cave gear -- all you have to do is gather your friends. Good through Dec. 2013.

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  • Pledge $400 or more
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    0 backers

    Great for grottos: 40 CaveSim plastic stickers (one for everyone in your grotto), plus a set of five magnetic cave formations (great for grotto outreach events, or for your grotto auction). Plus, we'll send your grotto a handmade, laser-engraved plaque for everyone in your grotto to sign. You can send the plaque back to us and we'll permanently afix it to the outside of CaveSim (or you can keep the plaque all to yourselves).

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    The people who give us a dollar rock, but you really rock! Let us know when you're in town, and Tracy and Dave will have you over for dinner and a personal tour of CaveSim. When else can you talk with an outgoing engineer from MIT who built a cave in his garage? And yes, of course you can have a t-shirt.

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  • Pledge $9,950 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    The ultimate! Everything you need to build your very own crawl-through electronic cave obstacle course (except the walls). Includes 20 electronic sensors, 20 cave formations with bomber mounting hardware, a sensor control box with LCD to interface between the sensors and your computer, easy-to-use software with an intuitive graphical interface, all the cables, and (of course) detailed instructions and friendly tech support by Dave Jackson himself. Many additional sensors/formations can be added to the system.

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Funding period

- (60 days)