Students from 11 states explore Riverbluff Cave (UPDATED)

On November 7, 2007, students from across the nation participated in a virtual exploration of Riverbluff Cave, the nation’s oldest known ice age cave.

At nearly one million years old, Riverbluff Cave, located near Springfield, Mo., offers a preserved ice-age environment so fragile that only a few highly-trained scientists are allowed to enter. It is also the only known cave with a permanent connection, allowing real-time videoconferencing and video streaming out of the cave to students and researchers all over the world.

During the virtual tour students submitted questions via email which were answered during and after the session by the featured speakers, Matt Forir, lead paleontologist of Riverbluff Cave, and David Harrison, author of Cave Detectives: Uncovering One of America’s Oldest Ice Age Caves.

The morning session targeted third- through eighth-grade students and was viewed through 150 live video streaming sessions in eleven states. The afternoon session targeted 10th- through 12th-grade students and was viewed through 57 live video streaming sessions in nine states.

“The cave presentation was GREAT!” reported one North Dakota educator, who participated with 45 students. “Thanks a million for letting us in on this one, and keep us posted for upcoming possibilities.”

“This was an amazing opportunity for students to see science and technology in action, and to deepen their understanding of how science and technology can impact their education and their choice of careers,” said Bill Giddings, Director of Education and Library Programs for MOREnet. “What better way to engage and excite students than to show them something so absolutely unique and amazing!”

Inside Riverbluff Cave, amidst the stunning cave formations, are numerous artifacts approximately Pleistocene in age, including a bear bed, animal tracks and fossils.

This virtual tour was hosted by the Great Plains Network to demonstrate the power of advanced technology and networking to bring content and resources to schools, libraries and higher education institutions.

Click to view recordings of the events in the Educational Resources section.

linderj | Thursday, December 20, 2007 | |


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