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Antarctic Explorer Inspires Our Students

14 April 2014

Last week our students in Key Stage 2 had the opportunity to meet and hear from Henry Evans, marine biologist, and polar explorer.

  • Henry Evans visits BISS Puxi

Henry Evans with some of our Key Stage 2 students.

Henry Evans is a 24 year old British Marine Biologist who has recently skied to the South Pole in Antarctica.

Henry entered a national competition launched by the Daily Telegraph and run by the Royal Navy to select one individual to trek to the South Pole as part of the two-man International Scott Centenary Expedition (ISCE).

After undertaking a gruelling selection process with the Royal Navy at a land-based training facility, at sea and finally polar trekking in Northern Norway, he was selected to represent the descendants of the 1912 Terra Nova Expedition and was launched into the tough realities of polar training and the world of media. From live BBC television interviews and meeting with David Attenborough to running fundraising marathons in a penguin costume. And that’s before he set off for the South Pole!

Since returning from Antarctica in January 2013, Henry has set up his own company called Magnificent Ocean, which aims to inspire and educate others through its live, learn, laugh ethos. With his passion for exploration and polar science Henry is now hoping to inspire a generation and create awareness of the importance of the Antarctic landscape to the progression of present day science and our understanding of the future of our planet. 

We were very excited to have Henry come to our school last week to talk to our students about his expedition and all the work that led up to it.

He explained all about the fundraising he had to do to take part in the expedition, including running half marathons dressed in a penguin costume! He also told us about the training he did which included having to drag tractor tyres around (sometimes dressed in the same costume!) 

He spoke about his adventures skiing across the South Pole and the trials and tribulations he faced along the way such as having hallucinations due to the solitary nature of the trek and the 24 hour daylight.

Henry showed us some of his equipment and compared it with the equipment which was used in by Scott’s team on the original exhibition.  He spoke about and showed us some of the food he was eating while on the expedition and how important it was to eat sufficient calories to allow him to work so hard physically. It did not look appetising!  

Some of our students had the opportunity to try on some of his equipment which they said made them feel like real explorers.

Henry said of the day at BISS Puxi: “the students were incredibly engaging and the penguin costume was a massive success! I hope to return to BISS Puxi in the near future and inspire the students once again discussing issues such as marine biology and climate change.”

We take every opportunity in school to inspire our students in their learning and to want to know more, and hosting external speakers such as Henry enables us to do this on a grander scale and give students the benefit of a wider range of experiences. Henry really was inspirational and all of our students left feeling that they could be whatever they wanted to be just like Henry.

“I was really inspired by his words; I want to be an explorer too!”

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