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On Wednesday 31st October, Hunwick's School Council planted a whopping 10,000 Crocus bulbs in Hunwick Village. By Spring, a steam of colour will appear along Church Lane, opposite the junction to Station Road.
Over the next few months, Hunwick's intrepid explorers will have to brave the extreme temperatures of Antarctica. Unfortunately, pupils won't be making the journey themselves but the flags that they have designed will making the nearly 9,000 mile journey to the icy continent. The School Council thought that this would be a cool opportunity to take part in and they are delighted to have partnered with University College London in this initiative. The project has been organised by Sammie Buzzard who is a researcher in the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.
Pupils from across the school submitted their flag entries after learning about the Antarctica Day project in assembly. This event is celebrated on December 1st every year to mark the day that a treaty was signed declaring that 10% of the Earth to be set aside “forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes… in the interest of all mankind.” It is the largest land mass in the world that doesn't have a national flag or symbol that represents ownership, governance or sovereignty from a particular politician or ruler. Children were given the opportunity to reflect on the importance of international collaboration and fostering a world climate of mutual respect between all nations.
Judging proved especially difficult, with the School Council deciding on their own success criteria (images that represented Antarctica, colourful and correct spelling) before nominating winning designs under the watchful eye of Head Judge, Mrs Elstob.
This project has certainly captured their imagination and the winning entries will be sent to researchers based in Antarctica. Over the next few months researchers will take pupils' designs out during their fieldwork and take photos of them flying proudly in the frozen landscape. Once the project is over, in March 2018, photos of their flags in situ will be sent to school with the coordinates of the location for pupils to further explore via GPS.
Here are some of the pupils' reflections:
William: It is good that lots of people from different countries are working together to do lots of experiments.
Grace: I used to think that polar bears and penguins lived in the same place. Now I know that polar bears live in the Arctic and penguins live in Antarctica.
Sophie: I can't believe that my design will be flown in Antarctica so I think this project is quite exciting and really special.