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Extreme Cave Diving
Learn the Science
EXPLORE CAVES
Before blue holes were under water, they were dry, land caves. Explore these environments with your students.
Extreme Cave Diving (Video)
Watch as divers locate fossils in blue holes—from crocodiles, owls, tortoises, birds, and more—species that are now extinct in the Bahamas and some of which have never been recorded in science before. These fossils indicate a once dry, thriving, and wild ancient world. (Chapter 3, approx. 12 min.; Program available after broadcast)


Cave Formation: Biogeochemical Cycles (Video)
Find out how sulfuric acid has played a role in creating some of the largest cave systems in the world. (5:42 min.)


Cave Formation: Kane Cave (Video)
Watch as scientists conduct a simple experiment to determine whether microbes that inhabit a cave could actually be contributing to the cave-formation process. (4:12 min.)


Jewel of the Underground (Slideshow)
Explore Lechuguilla, one of the largest, deepest, and most strikingly decorated caves in the Americas.


Mysterious Life of Caves (Lesson)
Experiment with mud to understand how microorganisms grow and affect the environment in which they live.

Curriculum Connections
Caves, microorganisms, bacteria, microbial growth, metabolic activity, making predictions, making observations

Standards
Grades 5-8
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard C: Life Science: Regulation and behavior, Populations and ecosystems
Standard G: History and Nature of Science: Nature of science

Grades 9-12
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard C: Life Science: The interdependence of organisms; Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
Standard G: History and Nature of Science: Nature of scientific knowledge



EXTENSION ACTIVITY
How Caves Form (Interactive/Lesson)
Learn about four agents that help caves form, including mildly acidic rainwater, ocean waves, lava, and microbes.

Curriculum Connections
Cave formation, rainwater, waves, lava, bacteria, stalactites, stalagmites, sedimentary rock, extremophiles, gypsum, geology

Standards
Grades 5-8
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard C: Life Science: Regulation and behavior
Standard D: Earth and Space Science: Structure of the earth system

Grades 9-12
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard C: Life Science: The interdependence of organisms, The behavior of organisms
Standard D: Earth and Space Science: Geochemical cycles



   

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