2023 – November Summit

In November, the Trust’s Young Inspiring Explorers™ Summit saw 25 students, aged 11-14, travel to Ōtautahi Christchurch from around New Zealand. Thanks to our donors, Royal Society Te Apārangi, and our major sponsor, the US Embassy and Consulate in New Zealand, this was our biggest Summit yet. This action-packed weekend was delivered in partnership with William Pike Challenge.

United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, Tom Udall, shared why they support the Trust’s work. “We are honoured to support opportunities for young Kiwis to embrace their inner ‘explorer’ and discover, connect, and grow through Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers™ Summits. The United States is a proud partner of New Zealand in Antarctica, and programmes like the Young Inspiring Explorers™ Summits ensure scientific cooperation between our countries continues for years to come,” said Ambassador Udall.

The goal for the Summit was to connect students with Antarctica and the legacy the Trust cares for. They rode in Hägglunds, experienced an Antarctic storm, and met penguins and huskies at the International Antarctic Centre. Students also pitched Antarctic tents, tried on Antarctic clothing, and went on a virtual reality visit to Hillary’s hut at Scott Base. They learned about Antarctica’s history of exploration through a fun quiz, and Christchurch’s Antarctic Gateway connections on a walking tour of Antarctic sites. The students also participated in a hands-on Antarctic themed science session that highlighted how Antarctica’s weather influences the world.

Special guests included Margaret Walrod of the US Embassy who shared first-hand insights into the United States Antarctic Program and highlighted the international cooperation taking place on the Ice. The students also spent the weekend with Inspiring Explorers™ alumni William Pike and Kaitlyn Martin who gave inspirational talks, with Kaitlyn also representing our Programme Partner Royal Society Te Apārangi. It was an inspiring weekend that pushed the students to step outside their comfort zones.

A young adult holds a long ruler with a match at the end that is igniting a balloon full of flammable gas.
Young Inspiring Explorers participating in Antarctica science experiments. ©AHT/Mark Sanders
A young adult holds the artificial foot of a man who is sitting on a chair.
Young Inspiring Explorer Thomas assists Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ Alumni William Pike with his presentation. ©AHT/Mark Sanders
Young adults gathered around a statue of an explorer.
Young Inspiring Explorers at Captain Robert Falcon Scott's statue. ©AHT/Mark Sanders

Special thanks to

2023 Young Inspiring Explorers Summit major sponsor

Inspiring Explorers programme partner

“We are honoured to support opportunities for young Kiwis to embrace their inner ‘explorer’ and discover, connect, and grow through Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers™ Summits. The United States is a proud partner of New Zealand in Antarctica, and programmes like the Young Inspiring Explorers™ Summits ensure scientific cooperation between our countries continues for years to come.”


United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, Tom Udall

The 2023 Young Inspiring Explorers Summit was run in partnership with:

Antarctica New Zealand