Annual Report 2008

The Trustees are very pleased to report that the first Fuchs Foundation Antarctic Expedition (FFAE2007) for science and geography teachers was successfully completed in November and December 2007.  Besides being the very first teachers expedition that the Foundation has organised, the expedition celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 (TAE) which made the first crossing of the Antarctic continent from Shackleton Base at the head of the Weddell Sea to Scott Base on Ross Island, passing through the South Pole. It undertook scientific work throughout its journey.

The planning for FFAE2007 started in the autumn of 2005 with the intention of being a scientific expedition, undertaking science projects which the teachers planned and designed themselves but with the input from the universities of Nottingham, Portsmouth and Sheffield.

The expeditionís success is of enormous credit to the four teachers themselves who experienced over eighteen months of serious challenges, these being selection, fundraising to contribute £10,000 to the expedition costs, the preparation of their science projects, and the week-end training including a week in Norway.  All this whilst continuing to be full-time teachers.

The diary record of FFAE2007 with photographs is published on the Foundationís web site, along with the specific teaching materials that have been produced from the science projects.  TeachersTV filmed the preparations for FFAE2007, the time in Antarctica, the contact from the field between the teachers and their schools, and the immediate aftermath on their return.  Two half hour documentaries and four teacher support programmes were broadcast at regular intervals over a whole week at the end of March.

Since then the dissemination of the teachersí experience has continued through talks to schools, local groups and at meetings of the teacher associations, Geography Association and the Association for Science Education. This work of our ĎFuchs Scholarsí will continue through the career of our teachers, and we expect that this title will become recognised in the teaching profession as one of excellence.

The Trustees thank all our supporters, the Charitable Trusts, commercial organisations, and individual supporters of the Foundationís work, who have been so generous.  Three major events raised nearly £10,000, and the publicising of the Foundationís work continues through lectures and similar events.

As a result the Trustees have been able to arrange the first expedition to the Arctic.  Four teachers have been selected, and their training and fundraising as commenced.  The plans have yet to be finalised but the intention is that FFAE2009 should cross the Greenland Icecap using dog sledge which will enable them to undertake their science projects.

Financially during the year the Foundation has increased its available funds by £10,000, and the detail of the account is to be found at the bottom of the Annual Report web page.

Further Reading

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