A school visit
Last Monday, Education Outreach Manager Mike Sterken and IPF Logistics Manager Alain Thierry Barrera visited the British International School in Brussels to give lessons about the polar regions to two classes of elementary school children.
After learning about the basics of the Arctic and Antarctic from Mieke and Alain Thierry and what it takes to be a polar scientist, the children got to speak live with IPF engineer Oscar Pickerill directly from the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica! Oscar was happy to answer the childrens' questions about daily life at the station and what life is like in Antarctica. Perhaps one day some of the children will want to become polar researchers themselves!
A live webinar with global reach
Then on Wednesday evening, Central European Time, engineers and scientists at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica gave a 90-minute webinar to more than 150 students, journalists, researchers, and members of the general public from around the world.
The webinar showcased the renewable energy production and water treatment system at the station, along with the diverse scientific projects taking place there this season from the fields of microbiology, atmospheric sciences, weather and climate data collection, and surface mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. There was also a special surprise presentation on the IPF’s future projects at the end of the webinar.
Organised in partnership with the Center for Social and Environmental Futures (C-SEF), the Media and Climate Change Observatory (MeCCO), the Boulder Faculty Assembly Climate Science and Education Committee, the National University of Singapore, and CIRES Education and Outreach, the event’s aim was to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and learning among the polar research community and the general public. Feedback on the event was very positive and it was agreed to host similar events in the future.
For those who missed the webinar, a recording of the entire webinar is available on the CIRES YouTube channel.
A few more webinars with schools in Belgium directly from Antarctica will take place during the last few weeks of the 2023-24 austral summer research season. Every year the IPF team in Antarctica holds live webinars with schools and universities in Belgium and around the world to discuss topics including polar science, the zero emission design of the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica, climate change, and biodiversity.