Hopping penguins, hungry whales, sleeping seals, majestic landscapes, and exciting stories of historic explorers.
These are just some of the wonders of Antarctica that are captivating primary school children throughout New Zealand as they embark on a unique, virtual expedition, using My Explorer Journal on Antarctic Heritage Trust’s augmented reality (AR) app.
The children start with a printed copy of the beautifully produced My Explorer Journal (downloadable from the Trust’s website), which is packed full of information about the icy continent, including its landscape, ecosystem and wildlife, historic explorers and bases, science, and the Trust’s 2020 Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ to the Antarctic Peninsula. The journal also has lots of fun exploration activities, and encourages children to become explorers in their own backyards.
But that’s not all.
When you download the Antarctic Heritage Trust AR app to a smart device such as an iPad or smartphone for free, My Explorer Journal really comes into its own.
When the app on the smart device is hovered over one of the colourful codes throughout the booklet, as if by magic, each section is brought to life on the screen through augmented reality and 360° video content, interviews, photo galleries, audio, and web links.
A simple image of a Gentoo penguin colony becomes a 360° video that gives young explorers a literal bird’s eye view of the penguins moving around in their natural Antarctic habitat. Scanning an image of historic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, reveals multiple streams of exciting content ready to be explored.
The journal also prompts children to consider the differences between historic and modern-day exploration. They can compare historic footage of early explorers, their huts, and day-to-day items, with augmented reality and 360° video content gathered from the Trust’s most recent Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ in 2020. This high-tech footage gives them a unique perspective of young explorers’ experiences today. Most of this content was captured by Anzac Gallate, a member of the 2020 expedition, whose artistic talent is also on display in the journal, as it features his original drawings and writings.
It was Anzac who first came up with the idea for My Explorer Journal as part of his post-expedition outreach programme to help educate and inspire the next generation of young explorers, says General Manager Operations and Communications, Francesca Eathorne.
“Anzac’s My Explorer Journal is one of the most exciting and creative outreach projects delivered by the Trust’s Inspiring Explorers™ so far.”
Francesca says there are many benefits for children engaging with My Explorer Journal. “They love using the technology, but are also captivated by the journal’s content, and learning about the Antarctic’s incredible landscapes, amazing creatures, and long, history of exploration. One of the other main aims of the project is to inspire a spirit of exploration in the children themselves, tapping into the early explorer qualities of curiosity, resilience, teamwork, innovation and leadership. As they work through My Explorer Journal, they are encouraged to think about the importance of exploration, and ways they can become explorers in their own lives.”
How to access the app
The app is available to download for free from Google Play or the App Store.
The application is only available on surface tracking Augmented Reality compatible devices,
visit our store pages on your device to see if your device is compatible