Drawing competition for Antarctic stations announced | Polarjournal
As part of an Antarctic infrastructure modernization campaign, the UK’s main base in Antarctica, Rothera Station, is undergoing a complete facelift. Responsible for this is the well-known architectural firm of Hugh Broughton. Bild: British Antarctic Survey

A popular question in quizzes is whether there is a permanent population in Antarctica. The answer to this is “yes,” because some of the large Antarctic stations are staffed year-round and many of the people who live there spend more than a year there. However, such stations are not only exciting for those visiting Antarctica, but also generate great interest at home. The British Antarctic Survey now wants to further this interest and is calling for a very special competition.

“Draw an Antarctic station and all of its surroundings, including wildlife, and send it to us by midnight on January 31, 2023,” is the call that BAS and some partners are putting out to school class children between the ages of 8 and 15 and their teachers. Participating school classes should send their contributions in poster form by e-mail (see below) to the construction company BAM in the UK. (Note: Due to circumstances related to winning the competition, this call is only for school classes in the UK).

The centerpiece of the new Rothera station will be the “Discovery” building, named after Sir Robert Falcon Scott’s ship “Discovery.” In it, the contribution of the winners of the competition will be hung and thus immortalized there. Image: Hugh Broughton Architects via British Antarctic Survey

BAS is conducting the competition together with the companies involved in the modernization campaign, such as the construction company BAM and the architectural firm Hugh Broughton Architects. The latter in particular are well known, as the architectural firm have designed several Antarctic stations in the past. In addition to the British station, they are also involved in the new Davis (Australia) and Scott Base (New Zealand) stations. The entries, which must be received by the construction company by the end of January 31, 2023, will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury consisting of scientists, engineers and members of BAS, BAM and the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers). The winning entry will then be hung in the new main Rothera Station building to immortalize it. Also, pictures are taken and posted with people working in the station to highlight the jobs and possible careers. In addition, the winning class will receive an online call from the design team directly from Antarctica and later a visit from the team directly to the classroom. There they can then learn first-hand about the exciting work and life in Antarctica.

Antarctica inspires schoolchildren of all ages in many countries, such as Switzerland (photo). With the competition, BAS aims to invest in a new generation of Antarctic enthusiasts and perhaps future Antarctic explorers. Image: Paul Ducommun, Swiss Polar Class

The aim of the competition is to get children and young people interested in Antarctica, its importance for the world and also in working there, and to form another generation of Antarctic fans and possibly researchers. And they are not alone in this. In New Zealand, for example, a few months ago a project was carried out in school classes in which the children can use a modified version of the classic game “Minecraft” to develop and re-enact the modernization and life in the New Zealand station Scott Base. More than 400 children and young people took part in the project. And in Switzerland, Swiss Polar Class has developed a game that lets children and young people become polar explorers who go on an expedition and have to overcome a wide variety of obstacles from preparation to fieldwork, but also celebrate successes. For BAS, the competition also focuses on developing a new generation of innovative designers. After all, their new station is also set to set standards in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency. “Investing in Antarctic infrastructure means we can secure the future of the next generation of polar explorers,” BAS wrote in a news release. Thus, Antarctica also becomes a place where the past, the present and the future of the world lies.

Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal

Visit the BAS website for more information

To the website of Swiss Polar Class

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