Annual Report 2011
This year the Foundation completed its third teachers' expedition to the Polar Regions in November/December; its second to the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica. This was most successful despite the long delays experienced at the start in Punta Arenas due to bad weather in the Antarctic. The team experienced challenging conditions throughout, and was led successfully by experienced guides working for Bull Precision Expedition Ltd who organise the Foundation's expeditions. The team was made up of two physics teachers,Tim Miall from Twyford High School, Ealing and Roussel De Carvalho from Samuel Ward College, Haverhill, Lyndsay Hilton,head of chemistry at Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester, and Lisa Wood, a primary school science co-ordinator from Kaison Primary School in Newham, London. They all maintained contact with their schools through the web site via satellite links. Their projects had emphasis on the involvement of students, and included work on nano-particles for clothing, the effect of UV on life in Antarctica, the psychological effect of isolation on humans, the web site blog of 'Ricky, the puppet' which was followed world-wide by primary schools, and the 'Mars on Earth' project in association with the National Space Centre in Leicester.
The teachers were well supported by their school communities with projects on the Antarctic throughout the year and with help with fund-raising. Each teacher supported the Foundation with a contribution of £12,000 to expedition costs. The two physics teachers were sponsored by the Ogden Trust, and two by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
The Expedition was launched by an event at the Royal Geographical Society in October 2010, when Meredith Hooper, the well known polar author and Andrew Clarke, recently retired from the British Antarctic Survey and a trustee of the Foundation, gave a lecture on Captain Robert Scott's Terra Nova expedition's science putting it into to-day's context. This was one of the events in the Scott100 centennial celebrations.
The successful completion of the expedition was celebrated at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, when the team reported on their experiences and the positive effects of this on their personal development and teaching. This was followed by a dinner in St. John's College when Paul Rose, past base leader for the British Antarctic Survey and broadcaster, the presenter of 'Oceans' on BBC2, gave a inspiring address. This was a fitting conclusion to a most successful project.
The trustees have been reviewing the future of the Foundation and are completely dedicated to the ethic that the Foundation should inspire teachers in their class work, thus encouraging the study of science and geography by the thousands of students that they encounter during their career. The four fundamental components of a teacher's experience are their science project, the fund-raising experience as they have to make a significant contribution to the costs of their expedition, the participation in a challenging expedition, and afterwards supporting the Foundation's work, through speaking at events for the public, their schools' communities and at teacher seminars.
These are financially demanding times for the Foundation due to the economic climate and, as a result, it has been decided in the foreseeable future to run the Foundation's expeditions on a commercial basis. This means that teachers will pay fully for the experience and thus we shall be sending teams of teachers to the Arctic where the costs of expeditions are significantly less. The next Foundation expedition will be to Svalbard in June 2012 and the selection process has begun.
During the year the Foundation's web site was revised, and now there is a wide range of teaching materials available.
The Trustees again give their thanks to all their supporters of the events, the sponsors of the Foundation and the Fuchs Scholars who continue to inspire others with their teaching.
Page last modified: 7th Jul 2011 - 12:48:58