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Maquoketa Caves Formation


This video shows Maquoketa Caves State Park as well as specific features of the cave.

Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa, IA

Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions

  • What earth processes causes the Maquoketa caves to form?
  • Could caves form in all types of rock in Iowa?
  • Did the caves form instantly or over time?

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • Discuss the patterns and observations in the caves shown.
  • Perform an acid test on limestone and 4-5 other rock or mineral samples to determine which types of rock dissolve.
  • Research and model the types of weathering.
  • Investigate what type of rock they believe caves are made out of based on the tests they performed.
  • Create a model or diagram of cave formation based on lab findings.

Related Resources

Iowa Core Alignment

Earth and Space Science
High School (9-12)
Disciplinary Core Idea
ESS2: Earth’s Systems

Credit Info

Media produced for Iowa Outdoors by Iowa PBS.
Submitted by Dan Voss and Madison Beeler as part of their Iowa STEM Teacher Externship experience at Iowa PBS.


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REAPCorporation for Public Broadcasting