Last week, Senior School pupils had an incredible opportunity to learn about Antarctica, a land of constant subzero temperatures, home to 90 percent of the world’s fresh ice, and the natural habitat of penguins, seals, killer whales and some fascinating under-sea life. Guest speaker Thomas Bracegirdle, parent of two Heritage pupils, researches atmospheric science and climate in his role with British Antarctic Survey. During the assembly, he shared his impressive knowledge about and enthusiasm for this remote continent, highlighting its most notable features, the challenges of data collection in such an extreme environment, and the exciting potential it presents for climate study and international collaboration.
He also shared the story of how he landed in his field of study. Growing up as a child in Scotland, Dr Bracegirdle began to take an interest in the climate around him with its changeable weather patterns, winds, and interesting cloud formations. Spurred on by his natural curiosity, he went on to study physics and maths—two fields of knowledge that are essential for understanding the ups and downs of weather—and then studied physics and meteorology at university, eventually earning a PhD in meteorology.
This is just one of many assemblies where Seniors have heard from individuals who were led into a rewarding profession by the ideas that captured their interest. As our pupils consider their own future career paths, we hope that they will take time to reflect on the things that fascinate them, and pursue a lifetime of learning more about them.