Antony Jinman's Story
Following his Fellowship to the Arctic, Antony set up Education through Expeditions and is now bringing the Arctic into classrooms around the country.
Antony’s Fellowship took him to Baffin Island in Canada, where he spent time living with Inuit communities in Qiitiqtaruaq, documenting their way of life and recording their thoughts and experiences of climate change. His aim was to use the exhibition as a way of engaging UK children and students in the environment and indigenous culture. The local hunters and elders that Antony met with all agreed that climate change was undeniably affecting their way of life – sea ice had begun to melt earlier and re-freeze later than usual, glaciers were retreating and traditional hunting and fishing areas were no longer accessible due to the lower density of sea ice.
After a week in Qiitiqtaruaq, Antony went on to ski 150km solo through the Akshayuk Pass to Pangnirtung. Here he spent time within the community, visiting local schools and meeting with Inuit elders. Both parts of the expedition were fully interactive – Antony blogged about the events of each day and set up a live Q+A forum so that schoolchildren back in the UK were able to follow the expedition.
On his return to the UK, Antony developed a web-based educational resource for schools called ETE (Education Through Expeditions). Through this platform schools are able to follow and engage with Antony and his UK based team so that they too can virtually take part in his expeditions, using discussion boards, forums, blogs, podcasts, Google Earth, lesson plans and activities. He also continued speaking at schools, and to date he and his team have delivered Polar Activity Days to over 600 schools. 120 schools also now participate regularly in 'LiveLearning', allowing virtual engagaement by 36,000 children.
It was because of this pioneering educational resource that Antony was awarded an Honorary Degree Doctor of Education by University West of England in 2011. ETE have also recently been awarded a significant Regional Growth development grant, which will go towards creating several new jobs in the enterprise.
Antony continues to carry out solo expeditions: in 2010, he skied to the geographic North Pole, and in January 2014 he became the 12th Briton to have skied solo to both the North and the South poles, again as a fully interactive expedition.
“Most children won’t ever be able to travel to the Arctic,” says Antony, “but this way we can bring the Arctic to the classroom.”