Ottery kids on Arctic lookout

PUBLISHED: 13:08 05 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:40 17 June 2010

AN intrepid Ottery aviation engineer set off on Monday to brave temperatures as low as minus 50 on a 373-mile trek across one of the world's largest glaciers - to educate children on the dangers of global warming.

AN intrepid Ottery aviation engineer set off on Monday to brave temperatures as low as minus 50 on a 373-mile trek across one of the world's largest glaciers - to educate children on the dangers of global warming.

Flybe engineer Peter Herbert is making the unsupported 40-day crossing of Greenland with fellow explorer Alan Chambers - and they were given a huge send-off by Ottery schoolchildren and Jim French, CEO of Flybe.

They will keep in contact with thousands of school children - including Ottery pupils - who can track their progress through their online explorers' blog, making it the largest-ever British Arctic Expedition focusing on education.

Peter, who will drag a 200lb sledge across the world's largest island, said they wanted to educate young people by letting them see first hand the environmental changes happening in the arctic circle.

The project is organised by environmental group Feet of Green and he got the idea when helping a colleague in Russia looking at weather reports, which showed how much the climate had changed in the last 20 years.

"I wanted to try to do a project for youngsters to follow. In the South West, we are leading the way on green issues. We are trying to get children to realise it is their future and they can change it. Youngsters engage with science more and it is important they realise they will have this responsibility. They won't be able to waste energy and dump things like we have."

He said the key to interacting with young people is the trek's website, which will provide daily reports:

"Teachers will find material written for the classroom, all national curriculum-approved.

"This is the largest education expedition delivered directly into schools in the UK."

Schools have also been challenged to produce a small device which could power an iPod while the pair are trekking.

The device will be taken on the trek to see if it works and is part of the pair's bid to use as much renewable energy as possible.

"We will hardly use any fuel. The solar panels or wind chargers will provide our power."

Jim French, Flybe's chairman and chief executive officer said: "The project is a perfect example of how the keen involvement of such a role model can serve to ignite the interest of learners in the classroom, especially when it comes to subjects such as science."

http://www.feetofgreen.com/

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