Five learners to embark on journey to Antarctica with Riaan Manser
Cape Town - A dream has become a reality for five learners across South Africa who have been given the opportunity to begin the new year with a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Antarctica.
Five matriculants from the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng were chosen to embark on the five-day trip to Antarctica.
The competition was open to every high school and learners were asked to submit a 100 word creative and thought-provoking idea of: “What will exploration of the Antarctic continent do to help us preserve a greener, more sustainable existence on our planet?.”
Matrics in Antarctica founder, Riaan Manser, who will be at the forefront of guiding the learners, said: “This is a chance that most students in matric could only have dreamed of. Now these determined and smart five students will be rewarded for getting through a tough selection process. They will begin 2021 by setting foot on the most incredible of continents, Antarctica.”
Manser said there would be very exciting experiments and observations before departing and to prepare the learners to be on the ice.
“This will include working through the Sustainable Development Goals such as looking at pollution and waste management with a planned clean-up in Antarctica, calculating carbon emissions and learning more about how bodies adapt to cold environments.
“We have some inspiring speakers lined up who will join us online to chat about first aid, ice swimming and ocean rescues, all before we depart for the ice continent. We are also hoping to be the first group to use the marine debris as well as iNaturalists application in areas of Antarctica we are visiting for data logging,”he said.
Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI) partner of Matric’s in Antarctica spokesperson, Mirella Kruger Kaliatzin said: “I am proud to see many females in the Matrics in Antarctica group.”
One of the Matric winners Thea J Ernest said: “I am extremely happy and I feel so blessed. I feel honoured to be blessed with this amazing opportunity. It’s something that's really once in a lifetime.
“The journey will allow me to conceptualize problems much better and when you go to areas that have been deeply affected by global warming and climate change then you are given a better understanding of what you want to do with the world.”