SciGirls visit the Marianna Caverns and Blue Springs State Park!
From stalagmites to stalactites, from caves above and below the water, we had a splashing day!
We headed out early this morning to Marianna, Florida. Our first stop was the Florida Caverns State Park! Upon arrival, we took a nature hike down the Beech Magnolia Trail, looking for wild plants, such as the bear paw flower. Then, we went into the education center and our girls learned all about water pollution, caves, the importance of bats, and nature. From there, down into the cave we went! Our tour guide, Brandon, was entertaining, but very educational. He showed us all through the cave, teaching us about the history and science behind the cave formations. We went into many "rooms" of the cavern and saw many features, including the "wedding room," which people actually get married in, but named because of a wedding cake and organ looking formations. Other "rooms" included, "fracture room" where Donald Duck can be found, "waterfall room" where the "heart" of the cave is, "discovery room," which was the first room discovered in this cave in 1937 during the Great Depression. Brandon explained to us that it is always 65 degrees down in the caves, 55 ft below ground level, regardless of the temperature above ground. He showed us many awesome formations, including stalagmites, stalactites, soda straws, and how the ground has grooves due to carbonic acid. He showed us the differences between the features of present elements, including calcite, which makes it look "sugary," iron, manganese, and of course, limestone deposits. The girls were excited to finally be able to touch a formation, as they all were given the opportunity to touch, or hug, the touching column.
After we thanked Brandon, we headed on to stop #2, Blue Springs State Park! After lunch, we all suited up and went out on kayaks and pedal boats. While adventuring, we stopped at a cave, where some of our girls took the Go Pro for a swim, and we also stopped at a cave platform for divers, where many of our girls swam around and jumped off the platform.
From there, we all had a bit of time to relax and swim. Some girls chose to slide, jump off a diving board or dock, while others chose to swim. One of our girls chose to get buried in the sand!
No trip to Marianna is complete without stopping at SciGirls favorite frozen yogurt joint, Milk & Honey! We all enjoyed a treat, while watching a bit of Disney's "Brave." Some girls took advantage of a foosball table, while others created dry erase art work!
All in all, today was a full, fun day! Tomorrow, we look forward to learning about therapy animals in the morning and becoming neuroscientists in the afternoon! TTFN!