4th & 5th graders dig CaveSim
A dozen 4th and 5th grade students took a free field trip to the CaveSim garage yesterday to crawl through the simulator and learn about caves (see pictures below). The students are members of the YES Club (Young Environmental Stewards) at Taylor Elementary School in Colorado Springs (YES Club is run by Catamount Institute, where Tracy works). The subject for the semester is "Underground Ecology." The Taylor YES Club is one of three clubs to visit CaveSim this semester.
The kids already knew a lot about caves, but they learned some new things, too:
- What a helictite looks like and how it forms
- What gypsum flowers are (and how fragile they are!)
- What to bring on a cave trip, and how to be safe when caving
- What a cave rescue is like, and what to do if a cave emergency occurs
- What a cave rescue cache is, and what's in one
- How to be polite with your headlamp (avoid my eyes, please!)
- Why they should stay in school and work hard (so they too can learn to build cool stuff!)
The students also looked at articles about cave vandalism (e.g. the Caverns of Sonora Butterfly) and took quizzes about bats and caves.
With your donation, we'll be able to bring CaveSim to schools (instead of having them come to our garage!) so that many more kids can learn about caves. If you've already donated, thanks! If you haven't donated yet, now is the time to help us teach the next generation of cavers to cave safely and softly.
Top photo: In a blur of action, a student enjoys the popcorn crawl
Bottom photo: Students crowd around the CaveSim computer to watch a classmate crawl through
Photos by Katy Downey