Antarctic Explorer- a visit by Andrew Cooney

Today the our Pilot lessons were suspended for the visit of the Andrew Cooney, the youngest person to walk to the South Pole. Apologises in advance, I think my digital camera hasn’t got over a wet time in North Wales, but thanks to Stefan and Tom who acted as photographers for the event. I only have a few good photographs. Oh well, a new one for my next adventure in Berlin.

Andrew gave a forty-five minute presentation about his experiences of walking to the South Pole, accompanied by a slide show. His talk included his motives for wanting to take part in the expedition. Challenge it seems for Andrew, is not a obstacle to stop an individual, but a tool for motivation. I really liked how Andrew included his past experiences, and how they consequently resulted in his wanting to join the expedition. I feel it was really inspiring for students to hear how he overcame his dyslexia and was able to succeed in gaining a good education, an aspect I myself have great empathy with.

Andrew talked at length about the need for preparation before the expedition and the support of his family. He then went on to discuss the conditions faced by the team, as they took on the climate and landscape of Antarctica. When I was listening to him speak and watching his slides, one aspect of Antarctica kept coming to my mind, the nothingness…

We then split into two groups. Mrs M took off one group to reflect on Andrew’s presentation, whilst I and the other group had a closer look at Andrew’s equipment. It was a great mini-session, Andrew allowed students to feel and try on some of his clothing, some of the boys successfully attempted to put up his tent with gloves, and there was some tasting of dehydrated food. (Though there was a slight accident, which a useful shovel sorted. πŸ˜‰ ) I was really impressed with some of the questions the group asked. All great stuff for our future coursework, where students will be preparing a kit for an Antarctic expedition.Those teachers reading this will also understand when I say that Andrew can tackle any question thrown at him. πŸ˜‰

After this I took my group to a classroom, where we finished off with a Cassidy ‘v’ Marston Antarctica Hoop game. Glad to say that Cassidy’s group came off best.

It was a brilliant afternoon and very inspirational. Thank Andrew and well done KHCTC students for your excellent behaviour and thoughtful questions. For any teachers, I would highly recommend Andrew, I’m sorry to say that we were quoted in the thousands for some named explorers, but Andrew, as well as affordable, clearly has an intrinsic interest in motivating young people to better things. Good luck with your next expedition.

What did you think?

Tom has already produced a useful summary of his notes on his student blog, well done! On reflection I would like many more of you to do this, it will come in useful for revision and coursework. Writing a blog allows you to reflect on your learning. Please contact me if you need any advice.

Finally thanks for the late Dry Valleys homeworks, Ricky and Damon’s were particularly impressive! πŸ™‚

Next stop climate….

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  1. Posted October 3, 2006 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi, i thought today was ded good. it was really interesting. I liked the presentation. it was really good how Andrew let people see his equipment at the end I also learned some new words lol!!!

  2. Posted October 3, 2006 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Great Laura, glad you liked it πŸ™‚ What were the views of others?

  3. Posted October 4, 2006 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I also really enjoyed it, an informative yet amusing afternoon. Andrew relayed the information to us. His equipment was cool.

    – Tom πŸ˜‰

    full write up @

  4. Lianne.H
    Posted October 4, 2006 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi the visit was great! I liked how he used different ways to present what he had done. It kept everyone interested all the time and I haven’t heard anyone say a bad thing about it. Good choice!

  5. Posted October 4, 2006 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Great Lianne and Tom! Also welcome Lianne, happy to have you commenting here! πŸ™‚

  6. Alan Parkinson
    Posted October 4, 2006 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a great visit. Maybe next year we’ll get sorted and ask Andrew in.
    Loving Tom’s blog too. This is something that more students should do.
    Good effort by all at KHTC!

  7. Posted October 5, 2006 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


    I would highly recommend him. Tom is a bit of a star, check out Laura as well, highly readable and great blogging.

  8. Posted October 7, 2006 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I have just been reading both Tom and Laura’s blogs – these are super! Great blogging – hope to use them to inspire some of my students! Great work…. I have just commented on Tom’s blog as well (I like the video on Dry Valleys)

  9. Posted October 8, 2006 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks Rob for reading and commenting. Laura and Tom are stars! Later I\’m posting some lost footage from the Andrew Cooney visit, I think Stefan captured it! πŸ˜‰

  10. Annabel
    Posted October 9, 2006 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I though his talk was great! and really interesting. i got loads of new info!

  11. Posted October 9, 2006 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Great Annabel and congratulations on your first blog comment! πŸ™‚ Have you a name for the penguin?

  12. Posted October 10, 2006 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    i think i look like a real model in that picture lol

  13. Posted October 10, 2006 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Mmm, don’t give up the day job Tatler! πŸ˜‰

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