Category: Program Plans and Summaries

Greetings fellow iSWOOPers!

I am currently looking at incorporating some of the iSWOOP content/resources into my evening programs at Tumacácori National Historical Park. I also hope to use some of this for bat appreciation day, the park is planning a special program and display on April 17, 2017.

We have a park iPad, would I be able to download some of the videos and images onto it? Thoughts or suggestions on how to go about acquiring these resources?

I will plan on using the tools available through iswoopcave.com.

I will let you all know how things progress as the program evolves.

Thank you for the help and suggestions.

Best,

Georgina

Any ideas for adapting programs for speakers with limited proficiency in English?

Hi,

Shane recently had a group with a lot of folks who weren’t so fluent in English.

I’m wondering if additional props, mime, or acting out concepts could help build rapport and get people to talk more amongst themselves and with you. Here are some ideas I’m throwing out for a program on laser scanning. Anyone else?

Joop, in his first blog post, back in January, talked about the way cave surveying used to be done. Do you have those tools to show and let kids touch and try out?

Then, even though there isn’t a scanner on site, you could bring a box with a mirror, with or without a light, to start to simulate how the scanner works. It could be funny to have the data points that emerge from both methods. So for the traditional, you get the 4 points, LRUD written on a small piece of paper, and for the scanner, you could have a cash register roll of paper with hundreds of numbers (because no one is going to write out a million points), but even a 100 on a roll would make the point, or you could have a thumb drive and say, it’s all on here, 1 million points.

Can you work in the model of the table in the visitors’ center as well as the animation of the laser scans?

Shane, what else do you think you might try in the future?

iPad Rove Approach

Hi All, Two things caught my attention in Kristi’s write-up on her iPad roves. (Thank you, Kristi, and thanks to Mike for passing it along.)

a) Trying to talk to people in areas that would be good for a group to see the ipad (large pullouts, ToC, etc.) was the hardest part. What did work was a few families were waiting 20 minutes for their KP to meet. The kids looked bored and captive, so I approached them.

I like the idea of making waiting around time educational. Good call, approaching folks waiting for a tour!

b. Your approach
I started the interaction both times…
Asked if they enjoyed the cave and if they’d like to see it in a new way. Then I asked if anything looked familiar, instead of telling them where the scan was taken. They all thought the “Bat Cave” area was the Big Room.

What do you all think about asking this? Good idea? A set up for visitors? A chance to talk about how many parts of the cave (caves in general?) have a similar form with passages leading to openings? A way to start a conversation about why that happens?

Here’s Kristi’s whole report.
07-22-14

1. Images/Animations used – digital fly-through cave (all 3 were used)
one time, I only showed one
on other occasions, I showed all 3
It depended on the group
2. Your approach
I started the interaction both times…
Asked if they enjoyed the cave and if they’d like to see it in a new way. Then I asked if anything looked familiar, instead of telling them where the scan was taken. They all thought the “Bat Cave” area was the Big Room.

3. Visitors’ Responses
Kids are really interested in the bat cave area
lots of wows and awesomes from the group
One kid asked why we had the digital scans if the researchers took them, not the NPS. So I told him the researchers were very nice and let us borrow them.
4. Challenges/opportunities
Honestly, trying to talk to people in areas that would be good for a group to see the ipad (large pullouts, ToC, etc.) was the hardest part. What did work was a few families were waiting 20 minutes for their KP to meet. The kids looked bored and captive, so I approached them.
I think that roving with the iPad is neither easier or harder, just another tool to use in our very large toolbox.
I look forward to having more opportunities to rove with the iPad.

 

Roving with the ipad in cave

Ipad Interactions

iSWOOP – July 14, 2014

The animations and techniques that were used varied from ranger to ranger. Mike primarily used one cave scan video; if the visitor was particularly interested he showed them another. He was unaware that there were other images on the ipad for a short time; however, they were soon removed. He usually initiates contacts 85% of the time by asking visitors if they are interested in seeing the cave in a new light and continues the dialog by asking if they saw something familiar in the video. Only once did his initial question fail to spark interest.

Lupe primarily used the photo of the mother bat and the pup. Questions from visitors usually led to other bat content or the digital scan from the natural entrance to Bat Cave. She initiates contact about 75% of the time. During her roves she approaches people who are in cave pull-outs or seated areas to prevent traffic jams. Lupe ties the images with the location of the cave when she initiates contacts. One common place is the seating area near iceberg rock (for scans), old bat roost in the Big Room as well as the calcified bat near Rock of Ages. The seating area near Top of the Cross is also a great spot to engage visitors because of the space available and the seating area. When visitors initiate contact with her she will lead the conversation to an iSWOOP related topic if it lends itself. For example when a visitor asked if there are any earthquakes, she talked about seismic waves, the stable structure of the cave (the tunnel shape which is found in architecture) which led her to learn that the visitor was studying engineering which lead to, “Hey that’s cool check out the new technology that we are using to survey caves.” Both he and his group were fascinated by the cave scanning process. This was evident by comments, gasps, wide-eyed faces and large grins.

Both Lupe and Mike noticed an increase in their rove numbers when using the Ipad. Mike noticed a 300% increase in his rove numbers. One common problem they encountered was creating traffic jams along the trail. While there are many visitors who are interested in what the rangers are showing, not all can see the screen and others would just like to keep on walking. The password is a bit complicated to punch in. There are many special characters, capital letters, and numbers. Lupe’s recommendation would be a 4 to 6 digit number. It will still preserve security of the ipad and make it more seamless as we are working with it during our roves or iswoop programs. They are glad to see more iSWOOP images on the ipads.

Rich Description; New Spins on iSWOOP Programs

Hi,

I am seeing rich description in the feedback forms. Thank you recent iSWOOP presenters. Here’s a description from Georgina so if you haven’t had a chance to chat with her can get  a sense for how she’s continuing to try to get the audience really involved in the program.

A couple thoughts–It sounds very cool, Georgina, how you used the grid. I also like a lot the idea that you chose slides and videos as you needed them to illustrate points you or the audience were making. It sounds as though you were able to introduce the idea behind some of the technologies and then circle back to their application. That sounds great, so people get to hear an idea more than once, with increasing detail or more examples.

Questions–I’m wondering how you wrapped up. Were you happy with the wrap up? Almost as if it were a bad thing, you wrote: “They (participants) were curious and interested but a couple of time I had to give an example of an area of research. For example population size or colony size, how would you estimate the number of bats in the cave considering the challenges and technologies we discussed earlier.” Is it a negative in your mind? Why?

from Georgina

This program I actually set up a bit differently that I had previously been doing. I Started with the template presentation will most of the images and videos. I figured I would set the presentation up like a Jeopardy game. I didn’t have categories set up so I just went ahead and introduced the topics and asked the visitors what questions that they have about bats. This would be an attempt to help the visitor decide what they wanted to talk about or hear/see.

On the screen the video of the bat flight was playing. I started off by introducing iSWOOP. I asked the visitors what they would do if they where a scientists and were interested in learning more bout the animal that they were observing emerge from the cave. What are some of the challenges that they might have to deal with or overcome to get answers to their questions?
Some of the challenges that the visitors pointed out from watching the video included, the bats are fast and they are nocturnal.
We then talked about technologies available to us and how they could be helpful in studying bats.

I then asked the group what some questions that they have about bats were. They several different questions and I then talked about those and the technologies that researchers use to study the bats. If I had an image or video for a particular question I used it.

They were curious and interested but a couple of time I had to give an example of an area of research. For example population size or colony size, how would you estimate the number of bats in the cave considering the challenges and technologies we discussed earlier.

A few thoughts..

What an experience.

Out of a rut indeed. Working you all over the week and developing new program, very cool. A challenge with new and exciting opportunities.

I enjoyed having the opportunity to participate in iSWOOP. I have also enjoyed watching and leaning from my fellow rangers. I look forward to more opportunities in which we share suggestions and ideas about our programs as we continue to improve them.

 

I have presented my program once to two co-workers because no one showed up and another time to two visitors. I’ve condensed my presentation some since I originally presented it. The ranger’s response to the program was good. They were excited about all of the new resources available to us.

A couple of visitors joined me for the program and they too were fairly excited and they had a few questions.

 

We speculated as to why there was a decline in the population size in for the data in the graph. I believe lowest colony census recorded was in the month of July.  Has the data shown on the graph been correlated with other environmental factors like precipitation? Can we attribute the decline in that month to drought?

 

Overall the experience and interactions were positive and it was enjoyable.