Hidden River Cave Educational Programs
The nonprofit American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA) operates Hidden River Cave and the American Cave Museum as part of our educational initiative to support the protection of caves, karstlands, and groundwater resources.
Education programs are developed according to the curriculum guidelines of the State of Kentucky. Programming can be adjusted to meet the needs and standards for civic organizations interested in participating.
1 hour – Grades 3-12
Adaptations of cave organisms teach children about how the environment can alter the behavior, physiology, and chemical response of organisms that visit, live in, and depend on the cave environment. Upon learning how to identify these adaptations, teams of students work together to determine in what category cave organism fit in based on their level of adaptations.
1 hour – Grades 3-6
Students learn how rocks indicate landscape changes over time, how minerals are the building blocks of rocks, and the 3 types of rock. After learning about physical and chemical properties, students use hands-on methods and complete 3 tests to determine the name of 3 unknown minerals.
1 hour – Grades 3-12
In this program students compare different scenarios to determine the best method of preventing soil erosion into the water system. They will do this by measuring the percent of water absorbed, and the conductivity and total dissolved solids of the outflow.
2 hours – Grades 3-12
With the use of a simulated community, students learn of sources of pollution and possible solutions. Then examine water quality by measuring indicators such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, and conductivity while comparing results from 3 different water sources. Students also learn about how macroinvertabrates can act as indicators. Through a role-playing game students experience how water quality changes can affect the biodiversity of a healthy stream.
Where Does All the Pollution Go?
1 hour – Grades 3-12
We all live in a watershed. All watersheds are exposed to pollution. In this program students learn of nonpoint pollution sources and possible solutions to these problems. Afterwards, they learn about the extent pollution can have on nearby waters by delineating watersheds.
2 hours – Grades 4-12
Students learn how fragile the environment in a karst area is by recognizing sources of karst hazards. They will learn about investigation techniques (including resulting data) and possible solutions. Teams of students will then be given an industrial site scenario in which they have to recognize karst hazards by interpreting data and then determine a solution. After reviewing the costs to implement their solutions, students will compare whose scenario is successful and cost efficient.
Guided Cave Tour
Go underground and join us in Hidden River Cave! A knowledgeable Guide will lead your students on an hour long tour. Explore the cave, learning about the history of Horse Cave, groundwater quality, geology, ecology, and the amazing story of the cave’s rescue!
Immersion Off Trail Guided Tour
This 2-hour immersive experience takes the students off the trail system and introduces them to wild side of the cave! With helmets and headlamps, students crawl and climb as they explore the geology and ecology up-close.
The American Cave Museum:
Students wander through this museum as they learn about the Karst geology, groundwater quality, the history of caving, archaeological discoveries, cave wildlife, and cave formations. Knowledgeable guides will be present to answer questions.
A fun and entertaining activity, gem mining can provide students with not only a great souvenir, but a tool to practice mineral identification back in the classroom with a visual ID guide.
Provide the students with an experience in money management with a trip to the gift shop. Our store boasts Kentucky souvenirs, fossils, minerals and gemstones of all sizes, t-shirts, toys, books, and more!
■ Covered picnic area with restrooms
■ Ample bus Parking
Hidden River Cave & The American Cave Museum are operated by the American Cave Conservation Association,
A National 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization.