16 November 2017

ASP's contract to support the National STEM Learning Centre's Polar Explorer Programme began in earnest this week with three activities in two days. ASP Co-ordinator and Polar Ambassador, Jeremy Thomas, delivered an assembly to Year 3 and 4 pupils at St Mary's RC Primary, Bicester on Tuesday, describing his own experiences in Antarctica and up to date developments such as the new polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough. The children were particularly thrilled to be able to ask questions, live over the phone, of Mike Gloistein, Radio Officer on the RRS James Clark Ross, currently operating on scientific duties in the Southern Ocean. Many of the questions were about the food and the comfort of his cabin but also about the wildlife and his job on the ship. Later in the same day, Year 5 staff at Botley Primary held a twilight CPD session to plan the delivery of Polar Explorer Programme activities over the next term, as well as other ways in which their Polar Ambassador can support them. On Wednesday, all thirty teaching staff at Even Primary in Swindon attended a twilight CPD session, where Jeremy explained the aims of the programme and the cross-curricular nature of many of the activities. Once again, Mike Gloistein phoned from the ship and explained some of the science work he was supporting on his current voyage, further inspiring the teachers to incorporate the polar resources into their lessons. Mike is currently on passage to the Falkland Islands before beginning the spectacular voyage across the Drake Passage and down the Antarctic Peninsula next week. The webcam aboard the ship should provide particularly interesting images as one of their tasks will be to deploy an autosub as close as possible to the front of a number of glaciers. The webcam images are updated regularly and can be seen at https://www.bas.ac.uk/data/our-data/images/webcams/rrs-james-clark-ross-webcam/.

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