Jeppe Boys High School Learner Announced As Matrics In Antarctica Competition Finalist

Jeppe Boys High Learner Announced As Matrics In Antarctica Competition Finalist
Keaton Stansfeld from Jeppe High School for Boys.

Keaton Stansfeld from Jeppe High School for Boys is one of the top 10 finalists hoping to be given a once in a lifetime experience of travelling to Antarctica to learn more about sustainability, the diverse ecosystem and conservation. The five winners will be announced next year.

Stansfeld was chosen from thousands of entries across South Africa. He was then part of the recent top 50 candidates who all submitted remarkable campaign proposals that they can initiate in their own communities with family, friends and neighbours to choose more sustainable packaging like glass. From Sandton to Soshanguve, the organisers wanted to see how differently people look at their environment. These campaigns were based on what they see in their communities and in their everyday life, from what is bought to what is thrown away and how they can change this.

After carefully reviewing each of the top fifty candidates’ initial essays along with their campaign proposals, the selection panel was tasked with selecting the final 10 who will make their way to the legendary Cape Nature – Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve in the Western Cape in January 2022.

Matrics In Antarctica is an initiative, founded by pioneering explorer, Riaan Manser, to help inspire young South Africans, matric students specifically, to think about how our daily actions affect the environment and what changes we can make locally to challenge the effects of global warming and climate change. Why a trip to Antarctica? The simple answer is that this great frozen landmass is vital to the global ecosystem.

Not only does it deflect a large amount of the sun’s rays from Earth, but it is also home to several unique species of ocean wildlife. Antarctica is directly affected by global warming, and in turn, the melting of these sheets of ice is causing sea levels to rise. This is a problem that many adults today will not have to contend with – which is why it is so important to educate young people about conservation and sustainable practises. Their vision is to host this competition every year for the next five years to continue to drive awareness about this important topic.

‘The Bio-Strath team has been blown away by the calibre of entries for this years’ Matrics in Antarctica competition. It is truly wonderful to know that the youth of today understand the need for sustainable packaging and their responsibility to not only talk about change but be part of the movement for a better future,’ said Shaye Lupton, Marketing manager of Bio-Strath.

‘We selected candidates that thought out of the box and into the glass jar – glass is completely natural. It takes nothing away from the environment and leaves nothing harmful behind and the students highlighted the importance of choosing sustainable packaging, like glass,’ says Consol Marketing and Commercial Senior Executive, Dale Carolin. ‘Unless we change the way we consume, by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. But by making better choices today, we can create a better tomorrow.’

At Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, the top 10 will spend time with the selection panel and educators. They will participate in varied activities from lectures, excursions and a camera training day hosted by Canon SA to ensure they capture their Artic experience with the best images and footage. They will also have the chance to discuss their campaign ideas with the educators and explore various options of how to execute them effectively. By the end of the week, the wait will finally be over, and the five winners will be announced by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga.

‘It astounds me every time I return to any of the Cape Nature Reserves. With its 250 hectares of indigenous forest, Grootvadersbosch Nature reserve has a magical, fairy tale quality, which will leave the top 10 with the lasting impression that they have stepped into another world. It is a huge privilege to experience and best of all it is right on our South Africans’ doorstep,’ said Manser

In February 2022, the five winners will fly out of Cape Town International Airport on an ALCI alusion cargo plane and land six and a half hours later on an Antarctic runway that is essentially a block of ice. They will be hosted at Novolazarevskaya, the Russian scientific base, the students’ home for the next 6 days.

The students will spend their time learning about the Antarctic, exploring its beauty, hiking, taking part in science experiments, participating in a litter cleaning initiative and most importantly, learning about themselves.

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Matrics In Antarctica

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