As one of just 78 female leaders in science selected to take part in the Homeward Bound Expedition, Filippa will join oceanographers, krill and penguin experts, academics and other STEM pioneers from across the globe to spend three enlightening weeks aboard a ship in our southernmost continent.
Due to set sail on December 2, the educator says the extraordinary trip is ambitious in both its aims and its itinerary.
“The purpose I guess is twofold, one is it’s all about women in leadership, so while we’re on the ship we’ve got lots of professionals running leadership programs.
“So we are looking at how to step up, I suppose, and how to encourage women to step up in leadership roles, whether that’s in education or science or academia…” the passionate teacher from Earth Ed education centre shares.
With Antarctica serving as their real-life research laboratory, the women will be perfectly poised to assess the effects of climate change and to collect new information and knowledge to bring back into their own fields.
“So we will have scientists on board talking about climate change and some of the indicators of climate change; and particularly the poles, I think the poles are particularly prone to the effects of climate change, so there’s that side of it as well,” Filippa says.
She can pin-point the precise moment she jumped aboard the climate change crusade.
“Ten years ago we had the Al Gore An Inconvenient Truth movie and that was when I really clicked into climate change and from that it went straight into my classroom…” she recalls.
“Then when Al Gore was here two years ago, I joined his Climate Reality group, so I am part of their group that goes out and gives presentations about climate change.”
Filippa plans to use the voyage to emphasise to students the “inconvenient” reality of our planet’s predicament.
“...what I’m trying to do is interest some girls to follow the trip I suppose, so I’ve got a name for the group, it’s called Polar Girls.
“And I am just stating now to collect some primary and secondary students who have an interest and what I’m hoping to do is I’ll do videos while I’m over there, perhaps answer some of their questions, and then come back and engage them through some little podcasts and videos and mini movies and that sort of thing.”
With the sail date looming, Filippa is throwing herself into fundraising and networking activities to ensure she departs with a solid support group (and bank balance) behind her.
“…we’ve already started making networks, so I’ve got a group of women in the education group from around the world and we’ve already been working on projects and things to do,” she says.
“I am really going to seize the moment and the time…”