Students from Silverhill Primary School speak to Johnny Gaelens and meet explorer Helen Turton

Explorer Helen Turton visited Silverhill Primary School

Explorer Helen Turton visited Silverhill Primary School

© Silverhill Primary School

In February, a class of 9 and 10 year old students at Silverhill Primary School talked by Skype with electrical engineer Johnny Gaelens who manages the renewable energy which powers the Princess Elisabeth station. Teacher Caitlin Downs said of the experience

« The children were very impressed by the size of the station, not to mention all the clever ways it has been built to survive in such extreme conditions! Johnny was very informative, providing them with a fabulous understanding for the building and design of the station. He even managed to squeeze in a virtual tour to see the different rooms in action and showed us the fresh supply of fruit that had landed there that day! ».

This was followed in March by a visit from Helen Turton who told the children about her experiences as a polar explorer. She also delivered an assembly to the whole school about the differences between the Arctic and the Antarctic, focusing on the difference between sea ice and land icescapes, wildlife and the way people live, work and travel at the opposite ends of the earth. The children asked Helen many questions including:

« Who is your favourite polar explorer? What work do you do at the poles? Which is your favourite place to visit? ».

Helen let the children get dressed up in all the equipment needed to survive (a lot!) during her expeditions, which was a definite treat!

Following on from both of these amazing experiences, the children had the opportunity to put into practice all the fabulous things they had learned. Taking on board the advice from Johnny, they designed and built their own polar research stations in groups. They also created a brochure for a polar expedition by using the experiences Helen had shared with them.

Students at Lincoln Elementary School in the United States have also been learning about the Polar Regions. Read the related news.

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