Simulated Caving Experience Comes to Science Museum Oklahoma, May 6
Oklahoma City metro residents with an interest in cave exploration can get a free, hands-on experience with the hobby from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at Science Museum Oklahoma.
The museum will host a one-day caving experience with CaveSim, a Colorado-based company that teaches people how to cave safely and without damaging caves through its crawl-through electronic cave simulator. The mobile cave experience will be located near the entrance to the museum and is free and open to the public.
“CaveSim has video game-type scoring. Participants wear helmets, lights and other protective gear like kneepads. When cavers enter CaveSim, scoring begins. The object is to try not to bump any of the cave formations — a computer keeps track of how many times each formation is hit,” said CaveSim creator Dave Jackson.
Jackson came up with the idea for CaveSim in 2008 while taking a cave search and rescue class. The class was taught in a real cave, and Jackson noted how much damage was caused to fragile cave formations in the process. He thought there was a better way.
“Some of the artificial formations mimic incredibly fragile formations by giving a damage point when participants even get too close. The experience is great for first-time and experienced cavers alike,” Jackson added.
In addition to the 60 feet of mobile cave passage, the CaveSim experience will include vertical caving demos on a rappelling and ascending tower, a cave rescue stretcher, bat lessons and games, hands-on geology, carbide lamp demonstrations, and more. Jackson and the CaveSim team will be on hand to facilitate each of the elements.
“We are thrilled to offer CaveSim to museum guests and metro area residents,” said Linda Maisch, vice president for organizational development and community engagement at Science Museum Oklahoma.
“It’s an exceptional look into geology. You don’t have to leave Oklahoma to experience caving — it’s an activity that can be done in some of our own state parks. For those who don’t know how to get started, we hope the CaveSim experience helps to spark an interest in both safely and responsibly experiencing the hobby.”
Located at 2020 Remington Place in Oklahoma City, Science Museum Oklahoma is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Daily general admission is $15.95 for adults (ages 13 to 64) and $12.95 for children (ages 3 to 12) and seniors (65 and older). Annual memberships begin at $95.
For more information about Science Museum Oklahoma, visit www.sciencemuseumok.org.