Aberdeen pupils to take part in Arctic Adventure

Pupils at Bucksburn Academy and depute head teacher Thom Sherrington prepare for The Polar Academy expedition.

NINE pupils from Bucksburn Academy will experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when they take part in a two-week scientific expedition to Greenland later this month.

The pupils, whose ages range from 14 to 16 years old, were selected from over 120 applicants in the school to take part in The Polar Academy, a charity that aims to have a lifelong transformative impact on the pupils and families it works with, building role models that inspire others around them through respect, dignity, self-belief, connections, and kindness.  

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The pupils, who have been training hard since August 2023, will be skiing in the wilderness on the 10-day trek, covering 100km (62 miles), of East Greenland, hauling 45kg sledges behind them, camping and surviving in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius. 

Councillor Martin Greig, Convener of the Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “The Arctic Adventure is a fantastic opportunity for the young people to develop important lifelong skills. The physical and mental training will prepare the team for the challenge that lies ahead. Through their experiences, they will be able to encourage and inspire others. I wish them all the best in this activity.” 

Whilst on expedition the young team will be conducting a range of scientific experiments including eDNA, LiDAR and snow density reporting and will be presenting their findings to Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the Scott Polar Research Institute during the summer.

Craig Mathieson, Polar explorer, and founder of The Polar Academy said: “This year our young teams have worked incredibly hard both from a physical perspective and on their mental resilience, many coping with a range of challenging personal circumstances over the past 12 months. The teams are physically in exceptional shape and mentally ready for their expedition and I am extremely excited to see them experience the incredible wonders of Arctic Greenland in a couple of weeks’ time and witness the hugely positive impact I know this will have on these young people for rest of their lives.”

Thom Sherrington, depute head teacher, of Bucksburn Academy, who will also take part in the expedition, said: “The pupils have been training mentally and physically for over a year to be ready for this expedition. They have developed so much confidence, resilience and ambition during this time, and it is going to be a pleasure to share this experience with them.

“I’m excited to spend two weeks in Greenland with them, but even more excited to see where this experience will take them in their future. So much thanks should go to the Polar Academy and the incredible work they do with young people. It has been a life-changing experience for us all already.”

Abbie, a fourth year pupil at Bucksburn Academy, said: “I’m really excited to go to Greenland. I feel it’s such a life changing experience and we’re so lucky to have this opportunity. There’s so much we can gain; we’ve already learned new teamwork skills and made new friendships.”

Charlie, who is also in fourth year at Bucksburn Academy, said: “I think I’m going to learn discipline and gain a lot of confidence from this unique challenge.”

The pupils and accompanying teachers will begin their journey from Aberdeen International Airport on 12 March. 

Learn more about The Polar Academy and how you can help support the charity’s work here.

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