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

Update #3

4th & 5th graders dig CaveSim

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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

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

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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