Cave Education and Outreach

 

One of the programs we use, Project Underground, is particularly intended to educate those in grade levels K-12 but can be used anywhere. “The purpose of Project Underground is to create and build awareness of and responsible attitudes towards cave and karst resources and their management needs among the general public through educational and interpretive programs.” It is set up much the same as other “project” programs and offers activities in cave geology, creatures, and appropriate use and management.

For example, Cave Creations provides background on adaptations cave creatures have to cave environments and gives participants a way to use their knowledge to develop their own critter. The activity can be modified; for example, we often turn it into a 1.5-hour workshop, including a showing of the “Caves: Life Beneath the Forest” cave life documentary, which was filmed entirely in south-central Indiana. We then treat the participants to a tour of our 37.5-foot inflatable cave, where they can take their critters, show us where they believe they should live, and explain why they designed them the way they did. The workshop encourages creative outlets as well as public speaking skills...

The various Project Underground activities can be made to fit state standards. Continuing Renewal Units (CRUs) are available for educators who attend Project Underground workshops!

Instructional materials include:

  • Karst/groundwater model
  • A 37.5’ inflatable cave
  • The DVD “Caves: Life Beneath the Forest”
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Tri-folding table top display
  • Handouts, booklets, and more

The IKC does not charge for these services, but donations are welcome.


News:

  • We received our first grant! Thanks to National Speleological Foundation for awarding us with a $1,000 grant to fund our efforts.
  • Save Lucy the Bat! Empowering youth to conserve North American bats.

The IKC Education & Outreach Committee can also be found on Facebook:

 

Links:


Images:


Youngsters enjoying the inflatable cave
photo courtesy Bloomington Herald-Times


Exploring a real cave
photo courtesy Bloomington Herald-Times


Promo poster for cave video
courtesy Ravenswood Media, Inc.