Sir Ranulph Fiennes is leading a team of explorers to conquer the last great polar challenge: crossing Antarctica in winter. The 2000-mile journey across the continent has for many years been considered too perilous to try and the expedition's six-man "Ice Team" will have to overcome one of earth's most hostile environments if they are to succeed, exposing themselves to temperatures dropping close to -90c and operating in near permanent darkness.
Their remarkable attempt aims to raise $10m for Seeing is Believing with match-funding from Standard Chartered, provide crucial scientific data and form the basis of an invaluable education programme.
The expedition offers an unprecedented opportunity to generate diverse, engaging, real-time educational content for schools that will galvanise children's interest in a host of subjects. From physics and maths to geography and meteorology, The Coldest Journey will be the backdrop and inspiration for a wealth of resources available to children across the Commonwealth and reach up to a hundred-thousand schools.
Educational materials to match curriculum needs from Early Years to post-16 will be made available and cover topics from environmental sciences, history, geography, initiative and team workshops, to the fundamental questions concerning the aspirations of mankind.
An interactive map will enable students to identify the current position of the ship and the expedition team, and over the coming months there will be live feeds from Antarctica, including interviews with Sir Ranulph and the crew, and real science data collected on the expedition ship and traverse.
Microsoft has been working in partnership with the Commonwealth Foundation to develop the password-protected platform, which will be continually updated and managed using cloud technology during the expedition. For a modest fee, this education sub-site will be accessible to more than 43,000 schools in the UK and a further 57,000 across the Commonwealth's 54 nations. All proceeds from the subscription go directly to making the expedition possible, with any surplus paid to Seeing is Believing.
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