Colorado Springs science carnival has big hit with simulated cave

October 16, 2011
By Kristina Iodice
The Denver Post

Posted: 10/16/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT

 COLORADO SPRINGS — One of the biggest hits at a science carnival Saturday made kids and adults crawl their way into one topic: caves.

The Cool Science Carnival Day at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs brought together an endless supply of bubbles, a collection of soft furs and hard bones, even plants. People could pan for gold, turn paper into things that soar and watch a rocket engine, complete with flames. Math was the inspiration for a dance performance.

But the simulated cave brought them to their knees.

“It was like an obstacle course,” said 11-year- old Echo Crockett of Colorado Springs. “It was fun crawling in there.”

The day-long event was packed with things to see and do, kicking off the second annual Colorado Springs Cool Science Festival. Related activities and presentations continue through next Saturday across the region.

The cave simulation was a hit, with kids and parents lined up along the hallway of Dwire Hall shortly after the event opened.

Dave Jackson built the 1,600-pound “CaveSim,” which features about 48 feet of winding passages, “rock” formations, a talking bat and even dripping water. Sensors indicate when someone touches the wrong place, to emulate a real caving experience.

Posters around the set-up depicted some of the rock formations found in caves and other facts. For example, gypsum formations disintegrate if someone breathes on them.

“We hope they learn that things inside caves are delicate, but they’re not scary,” he said. “They’re amazing places that should be protected.”

“It’s not a regular playground,” said Karen Silverio, 35, of Colorado Springs who crawled through the cave with 2-year-old daughter Maya and 4-year-old son Jared.

Read more: Colorado Springs science carnival has big hit with simulated cave – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19123444#ixzz1b3Awc100
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