Project CAVES (Creative Adventures and Valuable Experiences through Spelunking) is a seven-day/six-night summer residential program that provides an authentic immersion in science outside of the classroom for gifted high-school students. Activities will center around investigative studies in the areas of cave eco-systems, karst geology, bat populations, and hydrogeology.
“Science is much more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking. This is central to its success. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts. It urges on us a fine balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything—new ideas and established wisdom. We need wide appreciation of this kind of thinking. It works. It’s an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change. Understanding of science is more central to our national security than half a dozen strategic weapons systems. The sub-mediocre performance of American youngsters in science and math, and the widespread adult ignorance and apathy about science and math, should sound an urgent alarm. “
Check out a video about Project CAVES from Outside Science (inside parks)!
Although high school science classrooms have been impacted with improved standards and regulations to help encourage rigor, book learning and structured labs have limitations. An authentic immersion in science outside of the classroom provides a unique life-changing experience involving in-depth curriculum and strategies that high-ability science students need.
DATES: June 7-13, 2020
Project CAVES (Creative Adventures and Valuable Experiences through Spelunking) is a seven-day/six-night summer residential program (June 7-13, 2020) that provides an authentic immersion in science outside of the classroom for gifted high-school students. This program provides a unique life-changing experience involving in-depth curriculum and strategies that high ability science students need. Activities will center on investigative studies in the areas of cave ecosystems, karst geology, bat populations, and hydrogeology. The camp is operated by the Ozarks Unlimited Resources Cooperative through a grant provided by the Office of Gifted and Talented Education. Twenty students will be selected to participate through an application and selection process. The Student Selection Committee will be designated by the OUR Cooperative. Tuition, room, board, and instructional supplies are furnished for students from funds appropriated through the ADE grant. Students are responsible for travel to and from the camp and for any personal expenses.
Only students who are residents of Arkansas and who are presently in grades 9-11 are eligible for application and selection. Students who plan to graduate from high school before attending Project CAVES are not eligible to apply. Also students who have been accepted to AGS and plan to attend are not eligible to apply, as rules prohibit students from participating in more than one state-funded summer program each year.
Applicants should have demonstrated:
Creativity and critical thinking in the field of science
Above average ability in the field of science
A high degree of self-motivation required to satisfy the program’s demanding requirements
The intellectual, social, and emotional maturity required to thrive in an environment that emphasizes theoretical and process-related learning.
Nominees must be willing to commit to the entire program.
All qualified students will be considered for selection regardless of socioeconomic status, cultural, or language differences.
All forms and documents related to the application process must be submitted by Friday, April 10, 2020. The following forms and documents must be submitted by the deadline for the student to be considered by the Student Selection Committee.
For each student applying:
Student Application to be completed and submitted online by the student
Teacher Recommendation to be completed and submitted online by a teacher (preferably a science teacher)
Counselor Recommendation – to be completed and submitted online by a school counselor or administrator
School Signatures Assurance Form (click here to access the form)
Application Forms (2020 forms will be posted soon--check back soon!)