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Antarctic Quest 21

Children from P5 have recently taken part in a pioneering scientific research expedition to Antarctica, in commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the death of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Schools had the opportunity to interact in real-time with this fascinating expedition that showcased the science, climate change and life as an explorer. This was a truly unique opportunity for schools to engage in interactive learning with scientists and explorers working in a remote area of the world.

The Antarctic Quest 21 expedition followed eight explorers as they journeyed to Antarctica to undertake scientific research and polar exploration in areas where no human has ever gone before. The expedition was in the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s final expedition: the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition. To commemorate this the Antarctic Quest 21 team conducted a live streamed commemoration on the anniversary of Shackleton’s death 100 years ago.

The main purpose of the expedition, however, was scientific research. Some of the science projects the team collected samples for were UV radiation dose at the Earth’s surface, long-range atmospheric transport of microplastics and tardigrades on Antarctic cryptograms.

The KCPS school logo was on a flag that was carried by the team for the duration of the expedition, and which was flown in Antarctica during the Shackleton memorial service, which was then broadcast on ITV and BBC news.

The Antarctic Quest 21 expedition was no walk in the park. The team battled Antarctic storms and complete whiteouts which is highly unusual for summer in Antarctica. Their tents got battered to the point of breaking, yet morale always stayed high. The team would interact with students participating in the expedition on the digital outreach platform, where they could ask the team questions and view videos documenting life on the ice.

Team AQ21 was able to communicate with people at home and engage in the school outreach via the state-of-the-art satellite communications technology. This equipment was vital to broadcast their Shackleton memorial on January 5th and send back well wishes to their loved ones over the Christmas and New Year period.

“Thank you to all the schools that were involved with Antarctic Quest 21. I’m passionate about teaching students the importance of climate and exploration. This is something I have been doing for over 10 years and I’m excited for this next era of LikeToBe’s digital outreach” – Expedition Deputy Leader, Antony Jinman CEO of LikeToBe and Polar Explorer

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