Students on Ice - Student Learning Expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic

Project Description
Short Title: SOI
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The Students on Ice-IPY Youth Expeditions (SOI-IPY) will be educational expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic for high school and university youth from around the world. Participating youth will travel on the expeditions together teams of leading scientists, expert and educators. The ice-strengthened ship-based expeditions will be unparalleled platforms for Polar Education. Since 1999, Students on Ice - the world leader in educational youth expeditions to the Polar Regions - has successfully operated 10 youth expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic involving over 500 youth from 25 countries. Students on Ice is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, and has been awarded the prestigious Michael J. Smith Award for Science Promotion in Canada. SOI-IPY will build on this success and experience together with international partners and related IPY initiatives. SOI-IPY will provide inspiring, life-changing experiences to youth; will inspire the next generation of Polar researchers and scientists; will raise awareness internationally about IPY and polar issues; develop Polar curriculum and resources; create media attention and a tv-documentary series; and overall will serve as a tremendous IPY legacy project.

SOI-IPY will organize and operate one Arctic expedition and one Antarctic expedition each year between 2007-2009, for a total of six educational polar expeditions between 2007-2009. The possibility of doing more than two expeditions per year will be determined by demand and funding. With sufficient interest and support, SOI-IPY will operate seperate high-school and university expedition programs.

Each expedition will have 75 participating youth, and 35 scientists, experts, educators, world leaders, journalists, etc. Participating youth will be between the ages of 14-25 yrs. The goal is to have a total of 450 participating youth from countries all around the world. Students will be selected through an application process available on the Students on Ice website Partnerships and contests around the world will also help to select the participating students. Corporate, government, foundation and private sector funding will assist youth with the costs to participate. In some cases, youth will also raise some or all of the funds required to participate. Through existing partnerships with the Arctic Council's Future of Children and Youth Initiative and other Aboriginal organizations, SOI-IPY will endeavor to have indigenous youth and staff from all of the circumpolar countries on each polar expedition.

Students will participate in a world-class, multi-disciplinary education program prior to and during each expedition. The academic program will weave together elements of experiential, expeditionary, and problem-based learning, and will focus on Experience, Understanding, Inspiration, Transformation, Action, and Change. Lectures, workshops, and hands-on activities will focus on subjects such as marine biology, glaciology, geology, environmental issues and sciences, history, culture, politics, flora and fauna, oceanography, sustainability, traditional knowledge, art, technology, and much more. Some of the scientific/education team will conduct hands-on science activities and research as part of their ongoing research projects. Youth forums, student-led action groups, and inter-generational mentoring are examples of other learning formats that will be incorporated.

The educational benefits of SOI-IPY will be shared with millions of youth and the general public around the world via live video-conferencing, the SOI-IPY website, presentations, and conferences. Partnerships with schools and other educational organizations will bring the SOI-IPY directly to classrooms around the world. A team of international journalists and a film crew making a TV documentary series will help to give the youth voice a platform, spread IPY messages, and raise awareness about the environmental, historic, political and scientific importance of the planet's polar regions.

SOI-IPY will partner with a number of respected organizations such as the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Explorer's Club, The Royal Geographic Society, the IPY Youth Steering Committee, the Youth Science Foundation, Science North, Canadas Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian Space Agency, the International Baccalaureate Organization, and the International Polar Foundation.