Sat., Dec. 5 – Exploring the Science of Caves with CaveSim Virtual Lessons

12.5.2020 PALS Flyer – Physical Science of Caving

Sat., Dec. 5  Part Day [8:00 am – 12:00 noon VIRTUAL] 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Title:  Exploring the science of caving with CaveSim – Virtual CaveSim Lessons

Presenters: AM = Dave Jackson, CaveSim Inventor and Engineer

Description:   From physics, to engineering, to chemistry – CaveSim programs (many now available virtually) teach a wide variety of science lessons, all centered around the theme of cave exploration. Come join us to see how we are reaching out to students to love science by allowing them to feel the joy of exploration.  We’ll show you how we teach the physical science of vertical caving, the physics and engineering of a waterproof phone, and the chemistry of carbide lamps in the virtual world.  You will get to complete several investigations at home with materials you will pick up in advance. You’ll gain a better understanding of how CaveSim virtual programs can integrate with your curriculum, and you’ll come away with activities that you can do in your own classroom. Dave may also share how he is adapting CaveSim itself to address COVID-19 pandemic concerns!

More Information: 

Exploring Caves Goes Virtual ! 

Join Dave Jackson, inventor of CaveSim (, for a VIRTUAL exploration of some of the science behind caving. (We still plan to offer a part-day workshop with Dave that will involve the actual CaveSim itself and the accompanying equipment – like the 12’ vertical caving tower. That workshop will include more information about the geology and biology of caves.)

For this workshop you will experience three different virtual sessions offered by CaveSim. With direction from Dave, PALS is preparing a set of lab materials that you will pick up BEFORE the workshop to be used during the workshop. You may also pick up additional materials AFTER the workshop. 

  • In the Physical Science of Vertical Caving (Activity 1) you will experience the power of friction generated by moving rope and see demos involving the use of rope-ascent and rappel devices on a 12’ vertical caving tower. You’ll also get to see the role pulley systems play in vertical caving. 
  • In a Maker Lab: Sparks, Light, and Ripples (Activity 2) you will explore a variety of simple electronic components (batteries, capacitors, resistors, LEDs, and a waterproof speaker) and learn how they are used in the waterproof military phones that are used during underground rescue operations. You’ll even get to create your own cup phone !
  • In Carbide Chemistry (Activity 3), you’ll get to explore chemical reactions with simple household powders and an acid. This is in preparation for a more complex acid base reaction that is used to power an older, traditional miner’s lamp – the reaction of calcium carbide with water. 

This workshop is being restructured to run virtually, with a potential rescheduling of the in-person CaveSim and Cave of the Winds Tour sometime next Spring or Fall 2021. More details will be posted later.