Ice Station Antarctica at the Natural History Museum
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The chilly continent of Antarctica has come to London’s Natural History Museum with the opening of new interactive blockbuster Ice Station Antarctica. Aimed at a family audience, the exhibition challenges kids to survive the extreme conditions faced by scientists researching this fragile continent, and to find out how Antarctica affects the rest of the planet.
Developed in partnership with British Antarctic Survey, the exhibition takes “Ice Cadets” through a series of activities in pods depicting life for the scientists living and working on the continent. Lit inflatable pods the size of icebergs, and a freezer room at −10°C, give visitors the chilly treatment.
25 May 2007 – 20 April 2008, 10.00–17.50
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
Admission: £7, £4.50 concessions, £19 family (up to five, minimum one adult, maximum two). Free for Members, Patrons and children aged three and under.
Booking: (from 1 April 2007): NHM bookings
(a transaction fee applies on all advance tickets)
Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000
Using a bar coded ticket “Ice Cadets” can explore this unique continent by trying on clothing used by scientists, getting out in the field where they can experience camping in a tent and glimpse the 24-hour darkness winter residents have to cope with. They can also endure the sights and smells of working in a penguin colony and pretend to be diving under the ice with weird and wonderful sea creatures.
At the end of the exhibition, “Ice Cadets” can find out what Antarctic job suits them best, whether it’s a penguin scientist or a meteorologist. They can then continue to learn at home with a series of challenges on the web site.
Every year hundreds of scientists and staff travel to Antarctica, braving harsh conditions and freezing temperatures in order to carry out crucial scientific research — but most people couldn’t even imagine what it really is like to live and work there. At Ice Station Antarctica visitors will see if they have got what it takes to brave Antarctica by challenging all “Ice Cadets” to a series of activities through which they can learn more about the continent, the animals that live there and the valuable research that takes place.
Former Director of British Antarctic Survey, Professor Chris Rapley, CBE says, “Today’s society faces unprecedented changes to our global environment. It’s vitally important that we have the best scientists available to understand issues like climate change, and the impact this will have on our planet. Attracting the next generation of scientists can start now at Ice Station Antarctica. We embarked on this partnership with the Natural History Museum to enthuse young people in our science and operations and around 50 of BAS’s science and support staff worked closely with the Museum’s exhibition developers to make Ice Station Antarctica possible”.
Ice Station Antarctica is one of the highlights of the UK’s involvement in International Polar Year (2007/8).