To celebrate the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition, pupils nationwide were asked to respond to the question ‘Why does Antarctica matter?’
2015 marks 100 years since Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, sank beneath the ice of the Weddell Sea. Shackleton’s expedition is recognised today as an incredible feat of endurance and is credited with increasing public fascination with Antarctica.
This year’s Young Geographer of the Year competition was an opportunity for geography students to explore why Antarctica matters today. Colyton Geography students from Keystages 3, 4 & 5 entered the competition, with Daniel Vaughan’s essay being judged the overall national winner in the 16-18 category.
Daniel (16) received his award from Jane Rumble (Deputy Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory), and Dr John Shears (Scott Polar Research Institute) in a ceremony at the Society’s headquarters in London on Friday 4 December.
The day also saw the re-launch of the Discovering Antarctica website, produced jointly by the Society, the British Antarctic Survey, the British Antarctic Territory and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which includes primary, secondary and A Level resources on Antarctica.
Dr Rita Gardner CBE, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “Shackleton’s amazing story of leadership and survival is part of the UK’s great Antarctic heritage and tradition of scientific endeavours. Antarctica is still vitally important today, not least for its role in helping us understand climate change. We asked school children to consider the importance of Antarctica and have had a fantastic response. Thousands of pupils from over 300 schools submitted entries to the competition, recognising the importance of the world’s last great wilderness.”
Once again congratulations to Daniel and to all students who took part. With such captivating subject matter the standard of entries was exceptionally high this year.
Head of Geography
Photos attached: Daniel with Jane Rumble (Deputy Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory); with Jane Rumble and Dr John Shears (Scott Polar Research Institute)