Students on Ice head to High Arctic for annual expedition

The annual journey for Students on Ice, a program that offers education expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, has hit Pond Inlet, Nunavut. The trip will end on August 9 in Resolute Bay.

Over 100 students aboard cruise aimed at teaching about Northern social, environmental challenges

More than 100 students from all over the world are exploring the High Arctic as part of the 2015 Students on Ice Arctic expedition. (Submitted by Students on Ice)

More than 100 students from 18 countries are exploring the High Arctic, visiting Inuit communities along the way.

The annual cruise for Students on Ice, a program that offers education expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, began in kangerlussuaq, Greenland on July 29 and will end on August 9 in Resolute, Nunavut.

The participating students are currently in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, and are accompanied by a team of 80 educators, scientists, artists, polar explorers and local elders.

One of them is Mary Simon, an Inuit elder and former diplomat.

"They learn what the Arctic region is like, in terms of its environment and also the people that live up here," said Simon. "There is a much better understanding when you experience something rather than reading about it."

The program's goal is to teach students about the social and environmental challenges facing the Arctic, using hands-on research and cross-disciplinary learning with scientists.

Although Students on Ice is a for-profit organisation, more than 80 per cent of the students on the expedition are fully funded to participate.

A third of participating students are Northern aboriginal youth from across the Canadian Arctic, including 16-year-old Seemee Pitseolak from Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut.

"I learned about marine biology and oceanography, and about different cultures," he said.

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