An Ice exploration app ! Student co-creation intrigued by Antarctica

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An Ice exploration app is developed by a New Zealand student fascinated with Antarctica. Since he was a child, he has collaborated on creating an app that will allow other Kiwi children to explore the frozen continent. Anzac Gallate got selection as part of a group of young people to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula last March as part of the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers Expedition.

He paddled through icebergs searching for penguin colonies and captured incredible footage, including an encounter with a seal underwater. Since his return, the 20-year-old has spent the year creating an explorer journal for an augmented reality (AR) ice exploration app. “Users can stand in penguin colonies, paddle alongside seals, and paddle alongside whales. They can transition seamlessly from watching videos to participating in crafts activities and journaling.”

Gallate grew up in Christchurch and is currently enrolled at the University of Otago, studying ecology and marine science. He aspires to work in science communication, specializing in issues of sustainability and the environment. Anzac explained the purpose of the ice exploration app. He was to encourage young people to go exploring. “Because I was such an early fan of Antarctica. So, I was able to envision what I would have liked to learn and focused the journal on that”. He drew inspiration for the project from historical explorer journals.

A student fascinated with Antarctica co-creates an ice exploration app

We encourage users to consider venturing to new locations, even if it means simply seeing their own neighbourhood in a different light. Additionally, we tasked them with documenting their findings in an explorer journal, just as early polar explorers did. Francesca Eathorne, the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s general manager, said the project was in a critical phase in the light of the current pandemic.

“Given the state of the world at the moment, it is critical to promote exploration in New Zealand,” she said. “We can’t wait to see how the journal fosters children’s natural curiosity about their surroundings”. Gallate and Jack Fraser won The Dream, Belief, Succeed Foundation’s award in 2020 for their business concept, The Gro-Up Group. The pair won prizes totalling more than $45,000, including accounting, marketing, and mentoring. They conceptualized engaging STEM classroom experiences for students as part of the University of Canterbury’s Summer Startup program.

They developed Antarctica ice exploration App in collaboration with Staples VR. Moreover, This app is available for download from app stores and the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s website.

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