On October 13th, 2018, a host of organizations joined us at UCCS to celebrate science, technology, engineering, art, and math at our massive Carnival Day for Kids. There were over 5,000 guests all eager to learn and explore the scientific world around us.
Sometimes this scientific world can get very dark. CaveSim, a crawl-through electronic cave simulator where kids can get a taste of real caving while also learning about different scientific fields, was created by Dave Jackson, a man I had the pleasure of talking with at the carnival. Mr. Jackson obviously has a great passion for both caving and education…and making science cool for kids!
The goal of CaveSim, as Dave told me, is to primarily teach kids about cave conservation. As the kids get geared up to enter the simulation with their helmets and headlamps, they are told to avoid touching any of the stalactites or stalagmites. Every time they touch one, the computer tracks this as one point against them. In this way, CaveSim becomes a fun, interactive challenge to see if you can get through the entire cave without disturbing the fragile underground world.
CaveSim also offers kids the opportunity to learn about physics, geology, ecology, and more. One of the other demonstrations I got to see on Saturday was when Dave showed a group of kids the importance of rope pulleys to reduce friction while caving (pictured).
CaveSim was widely popular at the carnival, with a great turnout. Cool Science would like to extend its thanks to Dave and the entire CaveSim crew for being a part of the Carnival Day for Kids, and we hope to see them again next year!
To learn more about CaveSim, visit their website at www.cavesim.com, or check out their Facebook page @CaveSim.